Dairy prices witnessed maximum fall at 28.5% when compared to prices in 2014, Picture: The logo of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is seen on the door of the headquarters in Rome.Reuters

International food prices plunged 19% for the fourth consecutive year in 2015. According to the United Nations' food agency, there has been a decline in dairy, sugar and vegetable oil prices.

Dairy prices across the world witnessed the maximum fall at 28.5% when compared to prices in 2014. Vegetable oil prices came down 19%, cereal prices fell 15.4% and meat prices came down 15.1%. Overall, the prices were at the lowest since 2009, according to data on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) website.

"Over the full year, the index has averaged 164.1 points, nearly 19% less than in 2014, marking the fourth consecutive annual decline," the FAO said.

Dairy Price Index points averaged 149.5 points in December, down 1.6 points (1.0%) from November, where the decline stemmed from a fall in prices for milk powders, as those for butter rose and those for cheese were unchanged.

The reasons for weak food prices in 2015 are abundant supply in the face of timid world demand and appreciating US dollar, the FAO said in its monthly food price index.

In December 2015, the FAO's food price index averaged 154.1 points, 1% down from November value, Press Trust of India added.

The FAO food price index is the measure of the monthly changing international price for a basket of food commodities. It consists of an average of five commodity group price indices, weighted with the average export sharing of all the groups for 2002-04, FAO's official website added. 

FAO food price index
The Food and Agriculture Organisation Price Indexwww.fao.org