The World Bank has released its Food Price Watch for February, citing estimates that suggest an additional 44 million people may have fallen into poverty in low- and middle-income
countries due to the rise in food prices since June 2010. The overall global rise in food prices has been driven by increases in the prices of wheat, maize, sugar, and fats and oils. (Track the rise in global commodities prices and futures prices with agricultural commodities tools )

The USDA Economic Research Service has released its February 2011 reports for wheat, rice, and soybean outlooks. These reports can help inform policy makers of important current issues involving food security, farming, natural resources, and global markets.

Download the February reports below. For more information regarding the USDA ERS reports, visit http://www.ers.usda.gov/

Climate change poses both challenges and opportunities for sustainable agricultural growth, particularly in the developing world. As was witnessed during the 2010 droughts in Russia and floods in Pakistan, major climatic events can have significant negative impacts on agricultural markets, forcing global food prices higher and threatening the world’s food security.

As climate change continues to present new constraints to traditional agriculture, appropriate responses will require complementary policies at the farm-, country-, and global levels.

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.