Food prices soar 10% in July: World Bank

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

From June to July, the prices of both corn and wheat jumped by 25 per cent while soyabeans were up 17 per cent.

Global food prices soared 10 per cent in July, increasing the threat to millions of the world’s poor especially in Africa and West Asia, the World Bank said.

Drought and soaring temperatures in the United States and Eastern Europe have savaged some of the key grain crops that feed much of the world, with the prices for corn (maize) and soyabean hitting records.

The Bank had warned yesterday that a repeat of the price surges of mid-2008 and early 2011 endangered the health of millions in food-importing countries, with sub-Saharan Africa most at risk.

“Food prices rose again sharply threatening the health and well-being of millions of people,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

“Africa and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable, but so are people in other countries where the prices of grains have gone up abruptly,” he said.

From June to July, the prices of both corn and wheat jumped by 25 per cent while soyabeans were up 17 per cent.

Corn and soyabean prices topped their previous record highs in the food price crisis of June 2008, and soyabean struck another new record yesterday in Chicago trade on worries the Brazil crop would also face poor weather conditions.

Strong rice crops in Thailand and elsewhere have pushed the rice prices down by four per cent in the same period.

Even so, the World Bank’s food price index was six per cent higher than a year earlier and one per cent higher than the February 2011 peak — when food prices added to the economic pressures that set off the Arab Spring revolutions in northern Africa.

The West Asia and North and Sub-Saharan Africa remain the “most vulnerable to this global shock,” the World Bank said.

“They have large food import bills, their food consumption is a large share of average household spending, and they have limited fiscal space and comparatively weaker protective mechanisms,” the Bank said in its Food Price Watch report.

Published on August 31, 2012

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