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Active week of reporting on global food prices

Michael Figueroa's picture

Web reporters were busy last week with news of soaring prices for grains and other agricultural commodities.  Economist.com posted an early entry with Food for Thought on March 27.  NYT.com ran this piece on March 29.  BBC.com followed on April 3, focusing on Asia with Asian states feel rice pinch.  The following day FT.com had posted an entire page titled: In depth: the rising cost of food, while Bloomberg.com’s Glenys Sim reported from Singapore.

Bloggers and columnists are reacting to World Bank president Robert Zoellick’s April 2 speech.  Mike Burnick’s Global Market Beat says “What we’re seeing now is nothing short of a full-scale global power struggle to secure valuable food resources, which grow scarcer each year.  Rice for example is the staple food for about 3 billion of the world’s people, mostly in poorer, developing nations.  Since 2005, the prices of food staples (including rice) have soared 80%.  This is triggering sharp inflation spikes throughout the developing world – which in turn has sparked troubling social unrest.   Consumer prices in China rose 8.7% in February to an 11-year high. Inflation in India is at a 13-month peak.”  In Friday’s post Dani Rodrik and his readers debated Zoellick’s address, and David Ignatius devoted his column on WP.com to Perils in the Price of Rice.