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Unfavourable weather conditions have contributed to soaring world food prices. They rose 6 percent in July, rebounding after three months of decline.
Politicians are being called on to prepare for the possibility of higher food bills in the coming months, while the IMF and World Bank see few signs of a widespread food price crisis.
Food prices are being closely watched globally. The worst drought for 56 years in the US has slashed thousands of acres of corn and soy beans.
The result: US corn futures prices have hit all-time highs. Wheat and soy bean prices have jumped 40% and 30% respectively since early June. In some parts of Russia the grain harvests are down by 50 percent due to a hot summer.
It is estimated that it will lead to an economic loss of about 33 billion Russian roubles this year, that’s just over a billion US dollars. Mexico too is experiencing its worst drought in seven decades with almost 70 percent of the country affected.
However, World Bank data shows that overall food costs are higher but not yet at record levels of 2007/08.
Important staples for Asia - like rice - are still relatively cheap and dairy prices are steady.
Experts say the global food crisis is caused by several factors including weather conditions, along with political and economical elements.
- Global food prices soar by 6% due to unfavourable weather 2012-08-15
- FAO food price index jumps 6 pct in July 2012-08-10
- Global food prices jump sharply in July 2012-08-10