FEWS NET has released their latest Monthly Price Watch for December. The report cites high but stable international wheat and maize prices, and predicts declines in international soybean prices in 2013.
Global discussion surrounding agricultural investment and funding has increased in recent years, with farmers, development advocates, and policymakers alike calling for wider investments to fight hunger and poverty. The 2012 edition of the FAO's State of Food and Agriculture Report follows closely on this discussion, focusing on the importance of farmers as investors and the need for a stronger global enabling environment.
International export prices of wheat and maize remained stable but high in November , according to the latest GIEWS Global Food Price Monitor. International rice prices were somewhat mixed but generally lower than November 2011.
US wheat supplies are expected to increase by the end of 2013, in part because of weakened export demand, according to the latest Wheat Outlook from the USDA Economic Research Service. Global wheat production is also forecast to increase by 3.7 tons due to increases in China, Australia, and Canada. World ending stocks are predicted to be 2.8 million tons higher than previously estimated.
Asia is home to more than two-thirds of the world's poor and hungry. And as populations around the world continue to grow, the region's most vulnerable people will be faced with even greater challenges in the coming decades. Climate change and unsustainable resource use are likely to impede agricultural productivity, exacerbating already high and volatile food prices and presenting significant barriers to poor populations' access to affordable food supplies. But the news is not all bad.
The Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) has released the latest edition of its monthly Market Monitor. This month's report sees stabilized world markets as forecasts for 2012-2013 crop outlooks become more finalized. Despite this stabilization, however, attention should be paid to ongoing weather concerns, particularly drought affecting US winter wheat.
The latest FAO Food Price Index was released today and is down three points from October's Index. This is the lowest point since June 2012. With the exception of dairy, all commodities covered by the Index fell in November.
The Cereals Price Index is down four points from October, but is still 27 points higher than it was in November 2011. Weakening global rice and wheat prices drove the fall and compensated for higher maize prices.
The latest edition of the FEWS NET Monthly Price Watch is citing sustained high international cereals prices in October, particularly for maize and wheat. While unfavorable weather conditions in key exporting countries have contributed to keeping wheat and maize prices high, recent reductions in demand estimates, particularly from the feed industry, have kept prices relatively stable at high levels.
For many smallholder farmers, accessing larger, more lucrative markets can seem like an impossible proposition. While contract farming (a set agreement between a farmer and a buyer) can help establish set prices and more reliable links to domestic and international markets, contracts are typically signed with more educated, medium-sized farmers rather than smallholders.
The November issue of the FAO Monthly News Report was released today. The report covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies. This month's report includes articles on global corn inventories and prices, EPA ethanol mandates, and the wheat genome project.