Photo Credit: Flickr: OXLAEY.com

Pulses are an essential source of protein and minerals for much of the global population, to reflect this the UN has named 2016 as the ‘’International Year of Pulses.’ However, despite increasing demand, global pulse productivity remains low at around a quarter of global cereal yields per hectare, according to IFPRI.

The 2015 Global Hunger Index reports that despite progress in reducing hunger worldwide, hunger levels in 52 of 117 countries remain “serious” or “alarming.” The FAO’s 2015 State of Food Insecurity report estimates that 795 million people are undernourished, with uneven levels of undernourishment across countries. Simultaneously, the World Health Organization estimates that 1.9 billion adults are overweight.

The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released on July 11. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments at the global, regional, and country levels, with a focus on developing countries and provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Uwe Potthoff

The FAO Food Price Index rose again in June for the fifth consecutive month, based largely on surging sugar prices and more moderate increases for cereals, dairy, and meat. The 6.6 point increase represents the largest monthly movement in the last four years.

The Cereals Index rose 4.4 points from May, but remains 3.9 percent below June 2015 levels. Strengthened maize prices drove most of this month's increases, as tightening export supplies in Brazil caused prices to rise.

The June FAO Monthly Report on Food Price Trends saw mixed trends for international wheat prices in May, but prices generally remained lower than May 2015. The benchmark US wheat price averaged USD 193 per tonne in May; this was down four percent from April and 17 percent below its May 2015 level. The report cites that this drop in price is due mainly to improved global 2016-2017 production prospects.

Photo Credit: Flickr: OXLAEY.com

The FAO’s biannual report on global food markets was released this month. The report provides an overview of global trends for several main agricultural products, including wheat, coarse grains, rice, oilcrops, meat, and milk and fishery products, as well as a special feature on pulses. The report also provides a country-level review of major policy developments for grains, rice, oilcrops, meat, and dairy.

Soybean futures prices have seen a lot of movement in recent weeks, beginning in April when they twice saw record daily trading in combined futures and options volume on the Chicago market. Our early warning excessive food price volatility system has immediately reflected this trend, identifying extreme positive returns, i.e.

The effects of climate change vary from region to region, but according to a new study from the World Bank, the majority of the global impact stemming from climate change will come through the water cycle. High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy examines how scarce and variable water supplies will interact with growing global populations, rising incomes, and expanding urban areas and how smart policies and investments can reduce or eliminate the negative consequences.

FEWS Net has released the latest Global Food Assistance Outlook Brief, covering projected food needs for November 2016. The report covers forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food needs in covered countries, based on the size of each country's acutely food insecure population and projected length of the lean season.

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