ROME - Global food prices dipped by 1.0 percent in October after rising 1.4 percent in September, due to a drop in the price of cereals and oils, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization said Thursday.

“The FAO Food Price Index averaged 213 points in October 2012, down 2 points (1.0 percent) from September,” it said in the monthly food outlook report. According to the FAO’s index, a monthly measure of changes in a basket of food commodities, prices averaged 8.0 percent lower during the first ten months of this year compared to the same period last year.

The drop in cereals and fats “more than offset increases in sugar and dairy prices, while meat values remained unchanged,” the Rome-based agency said. The Cereal Price Index averaged 259 points in October, down 3 points (1.2 percent) on a month, largely because of slightly lower wheat and maize prices.

The drop in wheat prices was due to reduced trade activity, while maize values were hit by slowing demand from the livestock and industrial sectors.

On a 12-month comparison, cereal prices were up 12 percent, but still 15 points (5.4 percent) below its peak of 274 points registered in April 2008. The FAO’s Oils/Fats Price Index dropped 18 points (8.0 percent) from September, reaching its lowest level for two years, mainly due to weak world import demand and an abundance in palm oil output in Southeast Asia.

The agency said its Meat Price Index remained stable, averaging 174 points in October, as strong gains in Europe and Brazil offset a drop in US prices.

Dairy prices were up 3.0 percent on September, while the price of sugar rose 1.6 percent, the report said.