Sugarcane harvester in Brazil. Photo credit: flickr (John McQuaid)

The FAO Food Price Index averaged nearly 162 points in October, up 3.9 percent from the previous month. This was the sharpest increase since July 2012, but the index is still down 16 percent from this time last year.

Dropping oil prices, concern over the global financial implications of economic slowdown in China, and higher than expected global yields for wheat, maize and rice are all contributing to the continued descent of crop prices, according to the September edition of the AMIS Market Monitor and the FAO Food Price Index, both released today.

A farm worker cleans lettuce crops in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: Maria Fleischmann / World Bank

Authors: Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla and Maximo Torero

An abridged version of this article was originally published in the Spanish-language press in Guatemala.

This article was originally posted as part of Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

Efforts to develop a work programme aimed at revamping the stalled Doha Round negotiations are ready to enter a “second stage,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo reported to the global trade body on Monday, after four months of preliminary consultations among members.

Concerns have been growing over how the ongoing political turmoil in the Ukraine, the world's third largest maize exporter, could impact global grain prices and reserves in the coming year. While Ukraine has delivered the majority of its current export obligations, continuing conflict could pose problems for next season's planting and harvest, and thus future export shipments.

This article was originally posted as part of Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

With the Bali ministerial now behind them, the process to develop a Doha “work programme” by year’s end is beginning to gear up in Geneva, with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo urging members last week to use 2014 to get the struggling negotiations “back on track.”

The issue of large-scale public food stockholding programs played a starring role in this month's 9th WTO Ministerial in Bali (for more analysis, read posts by Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla and David Laborde and Luca Salvatici).

By Antoine Bouet and David Laborde

We commit ourselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at: substantial improvements in market access; reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies; and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support. We agree that special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the negotiations.

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