A new report from the World Bank states what has been obvious for months: food prices have spiked so high that the costs represent a threat to the ability of many people to feed themselves. The organization also offered solutions it would like to implement, but none of them comes close to a solution to the mammoth problem. And solutions cannot come from elsewhere either. Food shortages are too great, and the nations that might offer aid have become hog-tied by moves toward austerity.
In the latest edition of its Food Price Watch report, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim commented:
Food prices rose again sharply threatening the health and well-being of millions of people. Africa and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable, but so are people in other countries where the prices of grains have gone up abruptly.
Maize prices were up 25% from June to July, as was the price of wheat. Soybean prices rose 17%. The price of internationally traded commodities moved 1% above the previous high in February 2011. The geographic areas hurt most Read more…
Food prices hit record highs in February 2011 and stoked protests connected to the Arab Spring wave of civil unrest in some North African and Middle Eastern countries. They then receded, but started to grow again in January.
The index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 215,9 points in March, up from a revised 215,4 points in February, FAO data showed.
Its cereal price index averaged 227 points in March, up from February, with maize prices showing gains, supported by low inventories and a strong soybean market, the FAO said.
“You can see prices in the near term rising even further,” FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian said before the index update.
The FAO also confirmed its earlier forecast for world wheat output to fall 1,4% from Read more…
(NaturalNews) Food prices are skyrocketing all across the globe, and there’s no end in sight. The United Nations says food inflation is currently at 30% a year, and the fast-eroding value of the dollar is causing food prices to appear even higher (in contrast to a weakening currency). As the dollar drops in value due to runaway money printing at the Federal Reserve, the cost to import foods from other nations looks to double in just the next two years — and possibly every two years thereafter.
That’s probably why investors around the globe are flocking to farmland as the new growth industry. “Investors are pouring into farmland in the U.S. and parts of Europe, Latin America and Africa as global food prices soar,” reports Bloomberg magazine (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-…). “A fund controlled by George Soros, the billionaire hedge-fund manager, owns 23.4 percent of South American farmland venture Adecoagro SA.”
Jim Rogers is also quoted in the same story, saying, “I have frequently told people that one of the best investments in the world will be farmland.”
That’s because demand for food is accelerating even as Read more…
As Israel‘s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing the strongest wave of protests since he took office, he was forced to announce that members of his government would meet protesters to try and calm public discontent.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
In the last two weeks, tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the rising living costs, putting pressure on Netanyahu and asking for reforms.
This week-end has seen the largest wave of protests hit the country when more than 150,000 protesters gathered at sites across Israel on Saturday night, which analysts say could have been inspired by anti-government protests in neighbouring Arab countries.
Israelis are growing concerned with the increasing gap between rich and poor, high taxes and food prices, the cost of education and call for greater state involvement.
On the other hand, the middle class is also unhappy and insist it has become a de facto minority. Protests over Read more…
Food prices are skyrocketing. Part of the reason why is because, as the world’s population rises, so too has food consumption.
Another reason, at least here in the United States, is because the dollar has slipped in value in recent months.
But one of the primary reasons why prices are climbing so dramatically is because fuel prices have shot up in the past year. Yet even as gas and diesel prices have begun to fall recently, food costs haven’t.
According to fuel price-tracking Web site Gasbuddy.com, prices have slipped nearly 20 cents in the past month, or just over 5 percent. But prices for commodities and some staples like coffee, bacon, fruits, meat, pastas and other items have shot up 40 percent in the past year. Cotton, too, has risen dramatically, making clothing more expensive.
As an example, the price of grapes has climbed 30 percent, while cabbage has risen 17 percent and orange juice 5 percent.
For example, Read more…
If you do much grocery shopping, you have probably noticed that the cost of food has been rising at a very brisk pace over the past year. So why are food prices rising so fast? According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, inflation is still very low and the economy is improving. So what is going on here? When I go to the grocery store these days, there are very few things that I will buy unless they are on sale. In fact, I have noticed that many of the new “sale prices” are the old regular prices. Other items have had their packages reduced in size in order to hide the price increases. But with millions of American families just barely scraping by as it is, what is going to happen if food prices keep rising this rapidly?
The food prices are especially painful if you are trying to eat healthy. Most of the low price stuff in the grocery stores is garbage. Eating the “typical American diet” is a highway to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
But if you try to stick to food that is “healthy” or “organic” you can blow through hundreds of dollars in a heartbeat. In fact, the reality is that tens of Read more…
“The overall level of prices remains high and inflation will remain elevated for some months although the overall situation is controllable,” the National Development and Reform Commission said on its website today.
China has raised interest rates four times since September, limited bank lending and boosted food supplies as rising prices threaten to fuel social unrest. The Shanghai Composite Index has fallen more than 13 per cent from this year’s April high on concern that tightening measures will drag down growth.
“Inflation is going to be stubbornly high in 2011 and it’s largely a food story,” said Tim Condon, head of Asia research at ING Groep NV in Singapore. Authorities may be reluctant to keep Read more…