The WorldWatch Institute published a report yesterday noting that global food prices continued to increase in 2012. After a protracted period of declining prices between 1960 and 1999, global food prices have increased at an average annual rate of 6.5 percent between 2000 and 2012. The report includes the usual wide range of factors contributing to the general trend: the volatility inherent to agricultural commodities markets, weather, climate change, biofuel policy, increasing energy and fertilizer prices, export restrictions, increasing global food demand (especially from China) and low global food stocks.
Normally I’m a big fan of the WorldWatch Institute. But in this case, I think their report suffers from two errors.
First, I’m always suspicious of the blame often placed on Chinese (and sometimes Indian) food demand. Yes, meat consumption in China and India is increasing, leading to increased demand for soy and other animal feed crops. But…
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