Grain prices soar globally

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rice farmers here are staying awake in shifts at night to guard their fields from thieves. In Peru, shortages of wheat flour are prompting the military to make bread with potato flour, a native crop. In Egypt, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso food riots have broken out in the past week.

Around the world, governments and aid groups are grappling with the escalating cost of basic grains. In December, 37 countries faced a food crisis, reports the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and 20 nations had imposed some form of food-price controls.

In Asia, where rice is on every plate, prices are shooting up almost daily. Premium Thai fragrant rice now costs $900 per ton, a nearly 30 percent rise from a month ago.

Exporters say the price could eclipse $1,000 per ton by June. Similarly, prices of white rice have climbed about 50 percent since January to $600 per ton and are projected to jump another 40 percent to $800 per ton in April.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomy

Posted March 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Laocoon wrote:

And yet here we are trying to turn our corn into ethanol rather than trying to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.

March 26, 11:36 pm | [comment link]
2. Adam 12 wrote:

I would say that here we are turning corn into ethanol rather than exploring for oil off our own shores. I think most people have reduced already by about as much as is reasonably possible.

March 27, 8:38 am | [comment link]
3. Ross Gill wrote:

Adam 12 wrote, “I think most people have reduced already by about as much as is reasonably possible.”

But we still see people still driving their SUV’s and V8 pickups.  If people even switched to driving a Corolla, Civic or Focus a significant difference would be made without any change in quality of life.

March 27, 9:11 am | [comment link]
4. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

Ross52, I agree but you need to tell that to my teenage son. He complains about cramping every time we take a trip from Ohio to Minnesota in our Escort (35-40 mpg on long highway trips).

March 27, 10:07 am | [comment link]
5. Adam 12 wrote:

I suppose SUVs are a problem but somehow I think women feel safer driving them. Having rented a pickup truck and seen how frequently a fillup is needed I find it hard to believe that most owners don’t use them for very practical business-related activities. I don’t really know how many SUV owners have large families so I plead ignorance on that count. I am still investigating whether Ethanol gets fewer miles to the gallon but I tend to avoid it where possible, out of suspicion, I suppose.

March 27, 10:54 am | [comment link]
6. libraryjim wrote:

Sometimes a compact car just won’t do it ... try loading three scouts and all their gear into a Prius for a weekend camping trip. We can barely do it in a Dodge Caravan (23 mpg).  Or if you’d rather rent a U-Haul trailer, how effectively can a Prius pull a fully loaded trailer (and I’m talking the smallest possible that holds gear for three scouts) up to the mountains for a camping trip?  Not to mention, over all those dirt roads we have to take just to get to the Boy Scout Camp.

Or if you don’t have scouts, loading up your child’s worldly possessions once at the beginning of the semester and once at the end of the semester to go off to college?  Let me tell you, we couldn’t do it in my Corolla, and the Caravan is almost too small!

If we could have afforded it, we would have gotten the Grand Caravan.

And in crash tests, full sized cars, SUV’s and vans are much safer.  I probably wouldn’t be here today if I were driving my former Corolla when I got into that crash on the interstate two years ago June. As it was it totalled my Caravan, and landed me in therapy for six months (Physical, not mental! I know you were thinking it!).

March 27, 3:59 pm | [comment link]
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