WASHINGTON - Global food prices continued to decline for six consecutive months, but still remain very high and close to their historical peaks, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

In its quarterly Food Price Watch report, WB said food prices continued to fall between October 2012 and February 2013 on lower demand and expectations of better crop supply. According to the report, international prices of wheat dropped by 11 percent, sugar by 10 percent and maize by 6 percent during the four-month period.

However, the Washington-based institution cautioned that the global food prices were only 9 percent below the all-time high in August 2012, adding that declined cereals stock and continued dry weather in Argentina, South Africa and Australia cast doubts over food supplies in the coming months.

“Oil prices have been on the rise for three consecutive months, making its highest level in February since April 2012,” it noted. The persistently high and volatile food prices not only influence conditions of hunger and under-nutrition, but also obesity which may increase in the context of high prices as people opt for cheaper, less nutritious food to feed their families.