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World's grocery bill is going to go up, up, up

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/30/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rising demand in China and drought in United States as chief causes for price rise

Rising food demand in China, drought in the United States and unrest in Ukraine are fueling increases in world food prices. It's the first such rate increase since the all-time high of August 2012, according to officials with the World Food Bank.

The troubled nation of Ukraine, the breadbasket of Eastern Europe, posted the largest domestic price increases for wheat and maize.

The troubled nation of Ukraine, the breadbasket of Eastern Europe, posted the largest domestic price increases for wheat and maize.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/30/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: World food prices, drought, economic instability, political turmoil


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the World Bank, internationally traded food prices increased by a sharp 4.0 percent, led by wheat and maize, up 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

International food prices in April as a result were only 2.0 percent lower than a year ago and 16 percent below their record level in August 2012.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

"Increasing weather concerns and import demand -- and, arguably, to a lesser extent, uncertainty associated with the Ukraine situation -- explain most of the price increases," the report said.

Prices increased in spite of bumper crops in 2013 and continued projections of record grain harvests and stronger stocks expected for 2014.

Dry conditions in the United States, particular in the Golden State of California coupled with strong global demand, particularly from China, partly explained the price rises.

The troubled nation of Ukraine, the breadbasket of Eastern Europe, played a part, posting the largest domestic price increases for wheat and maize. The world's sixth-largest wheat exporter saw domestic wheat prices jump by 37 percent, driven in part by currency depreciation.

Overall, international wheat prices soared by 18 percent quarter-over-quarter.

"Such a steep price increase had not occurred since the months leading to the historical peak in the summer of 2012," the report said.

Maize prices rose by 12 percent, with Ukraine, the third-largest exporter of maize, experienced a 73 percent rise in domestic prices because of delayed plantings and increasing costs.

"Geopolitical tensions in Ukraine have not disrupted exports so far, but might have effects on future production and trade if uncertainty increases," the report said.

Other countries in the grip of political and economic stresses also saw prices shoot higher. In Argentina, for example, wheat prices were up 70 percent from a year ago.

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