The monthly global food price index fell sharply in July by 8.6% from June, the biggest one-month drop since 2008, according to a report released by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Friday.

The fall in food prices came after an agreement was reached in July to allow grain shipments from Ukraine and after adjustments were made to the global supply chain, which helped ease price pressures, the FAO said.

As a key index that measures monthly changes in international prices for a basket of food commodities, the FAO Food Price Index averaged 140.9 points in July, marking the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Despite July’s trend, the index is still 13.1% higher than last year’s level.

The index’s five major components fell in July, leading vegetable oil prices to fall by 19.2% and grains and cereals by 11.5%. The FAO said the development was partly linked to a key deal to unlock Ukraine’s main Black Sea ports to allow grain exports from the country, one of the world’s top grain producers.

“The market reacts to expectations, the market reacts very quickly. So, the day they announced the agreement, future prices could drop,” said Maximo Torero Cullen, FAO chief economist.

He then said that there are still uncertainties, including expensive fertilizers and a gloomy outlook for the global economy, which could put extreme pressure on global food security, despite a rather encouraging trend in the global food market.

The FAO Food Price Index is based on world prices for 23 food categories and covers prices for 73 different products compared to a base year.

Russia and Ukraine agreed to restore Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for grain export

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