The WTO Doha Development Round trade negotiations have been at an impasse since their launch in 2001, and have gotten particularly bogged down over the difficult technical and political aspects of agricultural trade reform. Further complicating the talks is the fact that the global economic, trade, and geopolitical context has changed significantly since the Doha Round was launched.

The latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report was released today. The 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. This month's report cites higher global wheat supplies and record wheat production for 2013-2014.

Originally posted on IFPRI.org
Written by Ashley St. Thomas

The latest FAO Food Price Index, released last week, fell nearly four points from July and nearly 11 points from August 2012. This was the fourth consecutive month in which global food prices dropped.

FEWS Net has issued an alert for East Africa, stating that a delayed start to the annual June-September rains is threatening harvests throughout the region. While rainfall has improved in recent weeks, FEWS estimates that normal rainfall would need to not only continue for the remainder of the season but extend past the normal rainy season in order for crops to fully recover. In large areas of Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, total rainfall has been 20-50 percent lower than average.

High food prices affect poor populations in a variety of ways. While households that only consume food suffer as a result of rising food prices, households that also produce food can actually benefit from price increases. But there is another, less recognized avenue through which high food prices can impact the poor: rural wages. The lion's share of the world's poor relies on agricultural jobs to make a living; whether or not agricultural wages increase as a result of rising food prices therefore has significant implications for how those price increases will help or hurt.

The USDA released its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report today. The 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. This month's report estimates 2013/2014 global wheat production at a record 705.4 million tons.

The latest FAO Food Price Index was released yesterday, and is down four points from June and seven points from a year ago. This is the third consecutive monthly drop and is due in large part to lower grain, soy, and oil prices.

The latest FEWS Net Monthly Price Watch was released last week, citing generally stable international staple grain prices.