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World scrambles to contain food inflation

January 12, 2011

A number  of Articles on this subject.

First Article:World scrambles to contain food inflation

Full Article at http://au.news.yahoo.com/queensland/a/-/world/8607231/world-scrambles-to-contain-food-inflation

By Neil Fullick and Peter Apps, Reuters

Record high food prices are moving to the top of policymaker agendas, driven by fears it could stoke inflation, protectionism and unrest and dent consumer demand in key emerging economies.

The United Nations’ food agency (FAO) said on Wednesday that food prices hit a record high last month, moving beyond levels of 2008 when riots broke out in countries as far afield as Egypt, Cameroon and Haiti.

In Asia, official data and analyst estimates both pointed to inflationary pressures. Chilli prices have increased fivefold in Thailand in the last year and Indonesia’s president called for households to plant food in their own gardens.

President Susilo Yudhoyono Bambang told a cabinet meeting people should be “creative” in planting, with Trade Minister Mari Pangestu leading the way in planting at home.

“I have 200 chilli plants in flowerpots,” Pangestu told a briefing on Thursday. “The agriculture ministry is informing farmers how to take care of the plant and also encouraging consumers to plant chilli in their own yards.”

Surging food prices have often provoked unrest in urban areas of poor countries, where imported food often makes up a high proportion of household purchases.

Full Article at http://au.news.yahoo.com/queensland/a/-/world/8607231/world-scrambles-to-contain-food-inflation

Second Article:World teeters at brink of a food crisis

Full Article at http://www.lfpress.com/comment/2011/01/11/16839086.html

By Gwynne Dyer,

If all the food in the world were shared out evenly there would be enough to go around. That has been true for centuries now: If food was scarce, the problem was that it wasn’t in the right place, but there was no global shortage. However, that will not be true for much longer.

The food riots began in Algeria more than a week ago, and they are going to spread. During the last global food shortage, in 2008, there was serious rioting in Mexico, Indonesia, and Egypt. We may expect to see that again this time, only bigger and more widespread.

The poor, urban multitudes in the rapidly developing countries (including China and India) spend up to half of their income on food, compared to only about 10% in the rich countries.

When food prices soar, these people quickly find that they simply lack the money to go on feeding themselves properly — and food prices now are at an all-time high.

“We are entering a danger territory,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, chief economist at the Food and Agriculture Organisation, on Jan. 5.

The price of a basket of cereals, oils, dairy, meat and sugar that reflects global consumption patterns has just broken through the previous record, set during the last food panic in June, 2008.

“There is still room for prices to go up much higher, if for example the dry conditions in Argentina become a drought, and if we start having problems with winter kill in the northern hemisphere for the wheat crops,” said Abbassian.

After the loss of at least a third of the Russian and Ukrainian grain crop in last summer’s heat wave and the devastating floods in Australia and Pakistan, there’s no margin for error left.

Full Article at http://www.lfpress.com/comment/2011/01/11/16839086.html

Third Article: World on brink of social unrest over food prices

Full Article at http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/world-on-brink-of-social-unrest-over-food-prices-1.742319

Fourth Article: Food prices rise sharply – and there’s more to come

Full Article at http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-12-16/news/25193927_1_wheat-costs-ephraim-leibtag-food-inflation

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