Global prices for all basic foods dropped globally in March, except meat, which rose slightly, said a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation report.

The FAO's price index for cereal, vegetable oil, sugar, milk and meat markets was at 171 points, a 2.8 per cent fall from the previous month and 13.4 per cent lower year-on-year, Efe news reported.

The organisation's report published on Thursday, said that the monthly decrease was due to the wide availability of provisions and the expectation that harvests would be plentiful, with cereal inventories at almost historic levels.

The largest price change was seen in sugar, which was 10.9 per cent lower than in February due to the low importation demand and the abundant supply in Brazil, where there was less internal consumption for the production of bio-fuels and harvests were good.

Vegetable oil prices fell 6.2 per cent as forecasts for palm and soy oil production improved and other types are expected to have a greater availability.

Milk and cereal prices saw a less significant price change, falling by 2.3 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

The only rise was registered in meat prices, which went up 0.7 per cent.

The FAO said it was due to a stronger demand from Asia for pork and beef imports.