World food prices rose in September and are seen remaining close to levels
reached during the 2008 food crisis, the United Nations’ food agency said on
Thursday, while cutting its forecast for global cereal output.
worst drought in more than 50 years in the United States sent corn and soybean
prices to record highs over the summer, and, coupled with drought in Russia and
other Black Sea exporting countries, raised fears of a renewed crisis.
prices have retreated in recent weeks due to rapid harvest progress and
concerns about weak demand in a slowing global economy. But the Food and
Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) price index, which measures monthly price
changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, rose 1.4
percent to an average of 216 points in September after remaining stable at 213
points in August.
rise reflected mainly higher dairy and meat prices, with more contained
increases for cereals, it said. “Prices are remaining high... prices are
sustained, it’s highly unlikely we will see a normalisation of prices anytime
soon,” FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters in a telephone
added however that it was not clear whether the small increase in September
meant prices were now on an upward trend, but he expected volatility in markets
could intensify in coming months. Parmjit Singh, head of the food and drink
sector at law firm Eversheds, said higher prices would place further pressure
on squeezed international food supply chains.
and producers will naturally want to pass on increased costs to their clients
but they will meet with stiff resistance from retailers who are reluctant to
increase checkout prices for increasingly value-conscious customers,” Singh
said. FAO’s index is below a peak of 238 points hit in February 2011, when high
food prices helped drive the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North
Africa, but current levels are very close to those seen in 2008 which sparked
riots in poor countries.
meeting: The Rome-based agency said it had cut its 2012 world cereals output
forecast by 0.4 percent to 2.286 billion tonnes from a previous estimate of
2.295 billion tonnes, mainly due to a smaller maize crop in central and
southeastern parts of Europe, where yields have been hit by prolonged dry
conditions. It also decreased its forecast for world cereal stocks at the end
of the 2013 season to 499 million tonnes, down 4 million tonnes from its
projection last month.
the rise in food prices, the United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome
said on Thursday it had agreed with other countries that a meeting of the
emergency Rapid Response Forum to discuss food prices under the G20 agriculture
body AMIS was not necessary. “Agricultural commodity markets are functioning,”
the mission said.
said a ministerial meeting on the food market situation was still planned for
Oct 16. Aid agency Oxfam called on governments to tackle the root causes of
food price volatility at the meeting. “They need to boost food reserves and
strengthen social protection programmes for populations that are at risk of
hunger,” Oxfam spokesman Colin Roche said in a statement. “We cannot afford to
sleepwalk into the next food crisis.” reuters
Give thanks that in St. Lucia there is still rain falling and there are still farmers with fertile land to cultivate. We can't eat money or farm mega-resorts.ReplyDelete