The dramatic surge in food prices in 2007–2008 seriously threatened the world’s poor, who struggle to buy food even under normal circumstances, and led to protests and riots in the developing world. The crisis eventually receded, providing some measure of relief for citizens in the countries that were most affected by the price surge; yet the FAO’s recent statement that global food prices reached a record high in December 2010 has raised the specter of another crisis. Researchers and policymakers alike are now searching for ways to stabilize market prices and ensure food security for the poor. Having access to reliable food price information is critical for policymakers, food policy experts, and researchers to be able to respond quickly to dynamic developments in the global food system.

The Food Security Portal, facilitated by IFPRI, has launched a new series of global food price tools for monitoring quantitative and qualitative information related to the international wheat market. Similar tools for the international maize and rice markets are coming soon. With these tools, users will be able to combine time series of international agricultural commodity prices with other related information such as real-time news stories and synopses of major events related to global commodity price fluctuations. This information can help explain past food price trends and market policies, which in turn will inform policymakers’ response to the current global economic situation and prepare them for changes to the global food system in the future.

Access the beta version of the international wheat market tools. The tools are under constant revision to provide the most up-to-date information possible. User suggestions and comments are welcomed

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