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The Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) has released the latest edition of its monthly Market Monitor. This month's report sees stabilized world markets as forecasts for 2012-2013 crop outlooks become more finalized. Despite this stabilization, however, attention should be paid to ongoing weather concerns, particularly drought affecting US winter wheat.
Wheat production in 2012 fell below the record seen in 2011, and ending stocks are expected to decline significantly. Wheat use, on the other hand, is expected to drop based on lower feed use in China and the EU.
Just three years after the 2007-08 food crisis, the food security of poor people and vulnerable groups, especially women and children, is again threatened as the prices of basic food items increase rapidly and become more volatile. Expanding biofuel production, rising oil prices, U.S. dollar depreciation, export restrictions, and panic purchasing are again driving up food prices—to the particular detriment of the world’s poorest consumers, who spend some 50-70 percent of their incomes on food.