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.

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.

Photo Credit: Flickr: IITA

As the global food system becomes more integrated, urban populations grow, and incomes continue to rise around the world, the issue of food safety is drawing greater and greater attention, according to a new brief from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.

Food price volatility and extreme price shocks have serious implications for politics, agriculture, climate, and food and nutrition security, according to a new book published by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

Photo Credit: Flickr: WTO

Today’s global food and agriculture landscape is, in many ways, unrecognizable from what it was even at the start of the 21st century. From the widespread use of staple food crops for biofuel production to increased market volatility to growing threats from climate change, food security worldwide faces many new challenges. Add to that a burgeoning global population and complicated (and sometimes distortionary) national and international trade policies, and it becomes clear that policymakers need new, more coordinated options to ensure a food-secure future.

Corn harvester. Photo Credit: Flickr (USDA/Lance Cheung)

Commodity prices regularly move together, despite the fact that causes of fluctuation can vary from commodity to commodity. Cross-market volatility could lower the effectiveness of diversification as a strategy for reducing price risks, so understanding the dynamics behind market interdependence and volatility transmission is critical.

Photo Credit: Flickr (Adam Cohn)

By: Rachel Kohn

By Derek Headey
Cross-posted from IFPRI.org A modified version of this story originally appeared on Dani Rodrik’s weblog on March 28, 2014.

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