Wheat takes center stage in the May issue of FAO's Monthly News Report on Grains, released this week.

The effects of climate change vary from region to region, but according to a new study from the World Bank, the majority of the global impact stemming from climate change will come through the water cycle. High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy examines how scarce and variable water supplies will interact with growing global populations, rising incomes, and expanding urban areas and how smart policies and investments can reduce or eliminate the negative consequences.

FEWS Net has released the latest Global Food Assistance Outlook Brief, covering projected food needs for November 2016. The report covers forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food needs in covered countries, based on the size of each country's acutely food insecure population and projected length of the lean season.

On May 12, the USAID Agrilinks program held a webinar on a new report released by the World Bank, entitled Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2016: Comparing Regulatory Good Practices. The event examined the report’s key findings and discussed the objectives and future path of the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) project.

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The FAO is predicting 2016 global cereal production to be nearly 2,526 million tonnes, up slightly from production forecasts in April. This slight revision comes mainly from increased wheat production forecasts, which rose 4 million tonnes in May. Much of this increased production is based on improved yield prospects in Europe, which are expected to outweigh the effects of poor weather conditions in India. Growth in anticipated global wheat production remains 16 million tonnes below the record production seen in 2015, however.

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The world’s urban population is growing rapidly. According to a new publication from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, more people live in urban areas than rural areas today, and by 2060, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. This growth is particularly obvious in developing regions.

International wheat price trends were mixed in April but were still lower than wheat prices seen a year ago, according to the latest Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Bulletin released this week. The price of US hard red winter wheat fell three percent in April as a result of improved production prospects in several key producing areas. Global maize prices were up from March due to increased export demand and concerns about production in South America; however, April maize prices also remained lower than the previous year's levels.

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In the latest Monthly Price Watch, released by FEWS Net on April 29, international prices of maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans were reported stable in March, and below their respective 2015 levels. The report also sees well supplied international markets for these staple foods.

The latest FAO Food Price Index, released this week, rose 1.1 points from March. This is the third consecutive month that the Index has risen, but levels remain almost 10 percent below those seen in April 2015. This latest increase was driven mainly by increased vegetable oil quotations, combined with smaller gains in cereal prices.

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As the global food system becomes more integrated, urban populations grow, and incomes continue to rise around the world, the issue of food safety is drawing greater and greater attention, according to a new brief from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.