* FAO's food price index falls 1 pct to 211.3 points in June
* FAO/AMIS raise estimates for wheat, maize output in
* Prices to be lower, more stable in new season-FAO
By Catherine Hornby
ROME, July 4 Global food prices fell 1 percent
in June due to improving supply prospects, the United Nations'
food agency said on Thursday, raising forecasts for wheat and
maize output in the new season.
Food prices spiked during the summer of 2012 due to a
historic drought in the United States but prospects for a
rebound in global grain supply and good weather forecasts are
now weighing on markets.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) price index
that measures price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds,
dairy, meat and sugar, fell for a second month running to 211.3
points in June, its lowest level since February.
"Crop prospects are even better than what we anticipated
last month, while demand is subdued," said FAO senior economist
"We should be in for a season with lower prices and as
inventories are being rebuilt, especially for corn, prices
should be more stable," he added.
FAO and the agriculture body AMIS raised their estimate for
2013/14 world wheat output by 2 million tonnes to 704 million
tonnes, pointing to improving prospects in nearly all major
producing countries with the exception of the United States.
The organisations also raised their estimates for maize
output in 2013/14 to 972 million tonnes from a previous forecast
of 963 million tonnes in June.
The fall in FAO's index was driven above all by a 4 percent
drop in dairy costs from high levels reached in April and May,
and a 3 percent decline in sugar prices on the back of improved
Its cereal prices sub-index fell about 1 percent while
prices of edible oils reached a six-month low.
FAO's headline index hit a peak of 238 points in February
2011, when high food prices helped drive the Arab Spring
uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the summer of 2012 it began surging to levels close to
those seen in 2008, when riots, some deadly, broke out in
several poor countries.
(Editing by Naomi O'Leary and James Jukwey)