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Food Prices

April 6, 2011

From DailyFinance

Using the Backyard Grill This Summer Just Got More Expensive

By CHARLES WALLACE

Contracts for future deliveries of corn, soybeans and wheat prices surged to the most permitted by the Chicago Board of Trade in a single day. Corn was up 4.5%, soybeans were up 3.25% and wheat was up 5%. So far in the past year, corn prices have risen by 87%, soybeans have jumped 41% and wheat has climbed 54% — thanks in part to bad weather in Russia and Australia, two major wheat producers. The surge in prices on the futures exchanges was in reaction to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that stockpiles of corn measured at the beginning of March had fallen 15% from their levels a year ago.

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It’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not just American consumers who are taking on the chin at the supermarket. According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, food prices surged 2.2% in February over January, with the FAO’s cereals index up 3.7% and meat up 2% in a single month.

The agency also warns the rise in oil prices could “further exacerbate an already precarious situation in food markets.”

This is particularly true in developing countries. It was a crisis over food price hikes that touched off a wave of demonstrations in Tunisia earlier this year — which eventually led to popular protests against governments in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.

From DailyFinance

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