Economy

Global food prices up 4% in Jan-Apr this year

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on June 05, 2014

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International prices of food increased 4 per cent between January and April 2014, mainly because of growing weather concerns and import demand, says the World Bank’s latest ‘Food Price Watch.’

“This spike in prices puts an end to a downward trend sustained since August 2012,” said a World Bank release, urging governments to keep a close watch on the global El Nino conditions, the consequences of Ukraine tensions, and the weather in the US.

The latest ‘Food Price Watch’ also flags concern over the role food prices and shortages could have on food riots, stressing on why monitoring prices was important not only for food security and welfare, but also for political stability and security concerns.

The sharpest increase in prices was seen in wheat and maize which rose 18 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, according to the report, which says the increase took place despite continued projections of record grain harvests, stronger stocks expected in 2014 and 2013 bumper crops.

Stable prices

Overall, domestic prices were mostly stable between January and April 2014, but saw fluctuations between countries, such as monitored markets in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kyrgyzstan saw some of the largest wheat price increases, while in Argentina and Pakistan, prices declined.

The hike in maize prices was the most in countries such as Ukraine and Russia, but was down markedly in Mozambique. Rice prices rose in Myanmar and Somalia, but declined in Thailand and Cambodia.

Ana Revenga, Acting Vice-President for the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network of the World Bank Group, said, “Over the next few months, we must watch these prices carefully, making sure that any further increases do not put additional pressure on the least well-off around the world.”

Published on June 05, 2014
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