Photo credit: kholkute
The World Bank has just released its latest statistics on global food prices. The message, although determinedly optimistic, is still one that depicts shocking price increases for a large part of the world. While overall it seems that the price of internationally traded food has slightly fallen between October 2012 and February 2013, food prices are still very high and close to their historical peaks, just 9% below the all time high recorded in August 2012.
Though prices have dropped recently, the international prices of grains in February 2013 remained well above those of a year ago: wheat prices in February 2013 were 15% higher than in February 2012. Maize prices stood 8% higher than a year ago, and rice prices 5% higher than in February 2012.
A closer look at the statistics and it becomes clear that many countries in the global south are still experiencing disastrous price rises. Here are a few of the key facts:
Since October 2012:
- Wheat prices in Brazil and Bolivia rose by 13% and 11%
- Wheat prices in some markets in Pakistan increased by 14% and in Mumbai, India, they increased by 15%
- Maize prices in Malawi’s capital city Lilongwe increased by 43%
- Certain markets in Uganda experienced an increase of between 15% and 20%
In the past year:
- The price of wheat has increased by 45% in Brazil and 43% in Moldova and increases above 30% were recorded in markets across India, Afghanistan, Sudan and Ukraine.
- Maize prices have increased by a whopping 75% in Russia, 47% in some markets in Malawi, 42% in Haiti, 32% in Zambia and by 22% in Somalia.