In a recent issue of Foreign Affairs, Christopher Barrett and Marc Bellemare write a stimulating note on the recent price movements in agricultural commodity markets. They appear to have three clear messages for policymakers:

The USDA Economic Research Service has released the latest global outlooks for wheat, rice, feed crops, and oil crops.

Download wheat outlook

Download rice outlook

Download feed crop outlook

Download oil crop outlook

With the global population predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050, and incomes in developing countries to continue rising as well, increased global demand for food in the coming decades will place unprecedented pressure on sustainable food production. Climate change poses a further challenge, as changes in temperature and precipitation threaten agricultural productivity and the world’s capacity to feed a growing population.

GIEWS has released the latest Global Food Price Monitor, citing a slight rise in the FAO Food Price Index for June. The increase is based in large part on strong increases in global sugar prices, which are up 14 percent from May. At 234 points, June's Food Price Index remains 4 percent lower than the all-time high hit in February 2011.

IFPRI launched the Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System today. This new tool measures excessive food price variability and is the only mechanism currently available to identify time spans of increased price variability. It is updated daily and forewarns policymakers and humanitarian agencies of periods of time with excessive food price variability.

FEWS NET has released its monthly price watch for June 2011, citing stable and declining prices for wheat and maize in May.

Download the http://www.foodsecurityportal.org/sites/default/files/june_2011.pdf)">full report and annex

The US Senate on Thursday voted to eliminate billions of dollars in federal ethanol subisidies, making it unlikely that the current 45-cent-per-gallon subsidy for refiners and 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol will be extended beyond the end of the year.

With food security remaining a critical issue for both developed and developing countries, the Meeting of G20 Agriculture Ministers met on June 22-23 to discuss food price volatility and improved sustainable agricultural policies. The Action Plan developed at the meeting highlights greater sustainable productivity, better market information, more open trade, comprehensive rural development and agricultural policies, and sustained investment in agricultural development.

Download the full report.

FAO Global Information and Early Warning System has released the latest global crop prospects and food situation report, citing 2011 cereal production forecasts revised down by 13 million tonnes from June 7. This downward revision brings world cereal production below overall utilization, leading to a further decline in world stocks.

Download the full report

The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report provides monthly comprehensive forecasts of supply and demand for major U.S. and global crops, supplied by the USDA. Crops covered include wheat, coarse grains, rice, and oilseeds. This report can explain past and current global commodities trends, as well as predict trends for the coming year.

Download the full June report. For more information regarding the WASDE reports, visit http://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/