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FAO Food Price Index Drops For Third Month In December; Index Down Overall In 2012 Compared With 2011

“The United Nations [on Thursday] reported that food prices fell for the third month in a row in December last year, balancing out sharp increases registered earlier in 2012, which had previously sparked fears of a food crisis,” the U.N. News Centre reports (1/10). The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Food Price Index, “which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 209 points in December, down two points from November,” according to Reuters. “For 2012 as a whole, the index averaged 212, down seven percent compared to 2011, driven by declines in sugar, dairy products, and oils, FAO said,” the news agency writes (Hornby, 1/10). “The 12-month average drop came despite a 10 percent hike from June to July last year, which had triggered fears of a heightened threat of hunger for millions of the world’s poor,” Deutsche Welle notes (1/10).