Blog Post

Monitoring Global Commodity Markets

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 FAO’s recent statement that global food prices reached a record high in December 2010 has sparked the memory of this crisis and turned global attention back to the issue of food security. As floods in Australia decimate the country’s wheat crop and adverse weather in the US cuts corn and soybean harvests, commodities prices across the globe are again seeing drastic increases, raising fears that we may be witnessing a return of widespread food insecurity and subsequent political and economic turmoil. 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.

Following its launch of global wheat price tools in early January, 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 maize, rice, and soybean markets. 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 maize , rice , and soybean market tools. The tools are under constant revision to provide the most up-to-date information possible. User suggestions and comments are welcomed