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

How is a country affected by changes in the world price of the commodities that it exports and imports? What is the effect on prices when a country’s food supply is increased by the release of stocks? What is driving changes in world commodity prices, and how do trends for one commodity compare with trends for another?

A child in Bangladesh receives nutritional supplements.

The FAO has released its Food Price Index for January, 2011. This report provides a measure of the monthly change in international prices for major food commodities. The January Price Index rose for the seventh consecutive month, showing a marked increase in the global price of all major commodities. Such an increase makes this month's Price Index the highest (in both real and nominal terms) since the index was first backtracked in 1990.

To view the whole report, visit http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/FoodPricesIndex/en/

Durante la crisis alimentaria mundial de los años 2007 y 2008, los precios internacionales de los productos agrícolas tales como el trigo, el arroz, el maíz y la soja subieron a más del doble. Mientras que las inundaciones en Australia diezman los cultivos de trigo del país y las inclemencias climáticas en los Estados Unidos reducen las cosechas de maíz y soja, los precios de los productos básicos a nivel global se ven nuevamente afectados por aumentos drásticos.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), funded by USAID, has released its latest monthly price watch detailing staple food prices for January 2011. These reports provide food security updates for 25 countries vulnerable to food insecurity, focusing on impacts on livelihoods and markets. These updates can help policymakers recognize and mitigate potential threats to food security.

Download the latest reports below. For more information regarding FEWS NET, please visit www.fews.net.

Agricultural trade plays an important role in the establishment of a fair, well-functioning global economy. At the same time, agricultural trade can also have a detrimental effect on global price stability and food security if policies are enacted that protect one region at the expense of another. Protectionist policies such as export bans or restrictions can actually increase global price volatility and lead to further food insecurity, particularly for developing nations.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net), funded by USAID, has released its latest Food Assistance Outlook Brief. This report provides forward-looking analysis of projected external emergency food assistance needs in 20 developing countries for the next six months. Overall needs at a national level are compared to typical needs at this time of year during the last five years.

Dowload the latest Food Assistance Outlook Brief below. For more information regarding FEWS NET, please visit www.fews.net.

With all the news of floods in Australia decimating the country’s wheat crop and adverse weather in the US cutting corn and soybean harvests, commodities prices across the globe are again seeing drastic increases, raising fears that we may be witnessing a return of widespread food insecurity and subsequent political and economic turmoil. Moreover, the FAO’s recent statement that global food prices reached a record high in December 2010 has sparked the memory of the crisis in 2007–08 and turned global attention back to the issue of food security.

As global food prices continue to surge, individuals and families in the developing world may be facing a new food reality. Fluctuations in the price of staple commodities may benefit some households’ welfare (producers) while hurting others (consumers). Understanding how price increases affect the developing world on a household level can pose a major challenge to global policymakers as they strive to respond to global and national food crises.

The dramatic surge in food prices in 2007–2008 seriously threatened the world’s poor, who struggle to buy food even under normal circumstances, and led to protests and riots in the developing world. The FAO’s recent statement that global food prices reached a record high in December 2010 has sparked the memory of this crisis and turned global attention back to the issue of food security.