Fluctuating oil prices seem to be the issue of the day, but the cost
of food commodities—particularly staples such as grains and vegetable
oils—is a close second in grabbing global headlines. According
to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), world market prices for
food commodities rose more than 75 percent from the beginning of
2006 to July 2008.
Prices for food commodities increased sharply over
the past 2 years.
Rising food demand in developing countries outpaced
production growth of major food commodities, and
demand for global stockholding has fallen.
Other factors behind higher food prices are increased
energy costs, demand for biofuels, a weakening U.S.
dollar, adverse weather, and policy responses by some
major exporting and importing countries.