Food prices to stay ‘high and volatile’ to 2020

Saturday, June 18, 2011
By Paul Martin

AgriMoney.com
17th June 2011

Food prices are to stay “high and volatile” for a decade, international experts said in a report pegging vegetable oil and pork values as set for particular rises, and foreseeing diverging fortunes for European and US farming.

The United Nations food agency, the FAO, and the OECD said that while they were “cautiously optimistic” that farm commodity markets would fall from 2010-11 highs, as farmers ramp up output to capitalise on higher values, prices would not slide to historic levels.

“Agricultural commodity prices… are likely to remain on a higher plateau during the next decade compared to the previous decade,” the FAO and OECD said in a joint report.

While demand was being whetted by population growth and rising affluence in developing countries, “there are signs that productivity growth… is slowing”, undermined by higher costs to farmers from the likes of oil, as well as “pressures” on land and water.

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