Rising Food Prices Continue to Climb, with Prices Up 10% in July Alone
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Food prices are rising, and consumers are feeling it. Rising food prices aren’t only hitting America, they are happening around the world. Costs have gone up 10 percent between June and July alone, with corn, soybeans, and wheat reaching record prices. This outpaces the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s estimate of a 6 percent increase.
Rising Food Prices and Vulnerable Populations
While we may all see small changes in the grocery store and in grocery bills, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim says countries reliant on imported grains, especially “Africa and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable.”
The World Bank attributes the price jump mainly to the American heatwave and drought in Eastern Europe, which has hurt corn and soy in the US and wheat in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Use of corn in the production of ethanol in the U.S.—accounting for up to 40 percent of corn crop—has also been blamed for the price jump.
But of course this isn’t the beginning of rising food prices. Costs have been going up for some time now; you can see a food price index we covered around just last Thanksgiving. The food index count, which is an overall score reflecting the total price of the top 6 food commodities, rose to 215 in December of 2010 — up from 90 in the year 2000. Sugar spearheaded the spike, hitting only 2 points away from the 400 mark in December of 2010.
Rice is the only staple that has actually decreased in price (by 4 percent).