10 Aug 2012

Global food prices up

9:29 pm on 10 August 2012

Global food prices rebounded sharply in July due to wild swings in weather conditions.

The rise fanned fears of a repeat of a food crisis in 2007-2008.

The Food & Agriculture Organization says rains in Brazil, drought in the United States and production difficulties in Russia, pushed up prices by 6% between June and July.

Delayed monsoons in India and poor rains in Australia were also factors.

Corn prices were up 23%, cereals 17%, while sugar rose 12% to new highs in July.

The FAO has published its index this month - which it usually does not - due to exceptional market conditions affected by unusual weather patterns.

Biofuel call

Meanwhile, the United Nations is calling on the United States to suspend its production of the biofuel ethanol.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation says the worst drought and heat wave across the United States in fifty years is destroying much of the country's corn crop.