62. Is the global food crisis over?

April 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

Food price is a great indiator of world stress. There was a great spike last year. Some improvement, but not enough.

By how much have international food prices come down?

The international prices for the major food grains have decreased almost just as dramatically as they had increased. Expressed in US dollars per metric tonne, and based on prices at the time of writing, the prices of:

  • rice fell from its May 2008 peak by 59%;
  • maize fell from its June 2008 peak by 43%;
  • soybean fell from its July 2008 peak by 77%;
  • wheat fell from its February 2008 peak by 53%.

In addition, oil prices have also declined dramatically. Expressed in US dollars per barrel, oil prices dropped by about 65% from their July peak in 2008 (based on the price of Brent crude oil).

Nevertheless, international grain prices remain high compared to their historical averages:

  • rice in March 2009 is 49% above its ten-year average;
  • maize in April 2009 is 43% above its ten-year average;
  • soybean in March 2009 is 36% above its ten-year average;
  • wheat in April 2009 is 31% above its ten-year average.

via Is the global food crisis over? | vox – Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists.

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