Food prices across the world fell 4.2% in May, marking the largest decline in over two years, Bloomberg noted. The U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) said its index of 55 food products dropped to 203.9 last month, down from 213 points in April.
Food price declines were led by dairy products, which fell 12% during May to 164.1 points on the FAO’s Dairy Index. Meat prices also fell, though by only 0.5%, to 178.8 points on the meat index. Economists called the dairy price fall a correction after an unusual price spike and predicted that meat prices could soon follow suit.
Prices for cereals fell for a second consecutive month, down 1.1% to 220.9 points on the FAO’s cereal index.
However, a rising U.S. dollar may reduce the visibility of that decline for consumers, since nations that pay for imported food in dollars would find price declines offset by the higher cost of dollars, economists said. The dollar rose 5.4% against other world currencies during the month as economic uncertainty spread in Europe and Asia.