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World Food Prices Set to Rise

At the same time we're being hit by increased prices for gas at the pump, the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute (EPI) reports that world food prices are set for a dramatic jump in the coming year.

According to the group’s calculations, four successive shortfalls in annual grain harvests have reduced the world’s carry-over stocks to their lowest level in 30 years, amounting to only 59 days of consumption. That is 11 days short of the 70-day level that is traditionally considered the minimum needed for food security.

The last time global stocks were so low in the early 1970s, wheat and rice prices doubled with disastrous consequences for millions of the world’s poor. A similar pattern may be asserting itself now, according to Lester Brown, EPI’s founder and president, as basic food and feed commodities are on the rise.

Brown says that the challenge of rebuilding the stocks to the 70-day consumption level will be very difficult to overcome, particularly if early indications for the winter wheat crop, which was planted last fall, are not hopeful.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at May 10, 2004 9:02 AM in Food & Health


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