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Food prices at risk of spiking in 2013, US drought may play a part

Well, you should read the article since the "City People" will blame the farmers for an increase in food prices in 2013. Everytime the newspapers write these articles the first group they blame are the farmers. They for some reason think that farmers set the food prices in our country and that we are being greedy again. Article is below:



Food prices at risk of spiking in 2013, US drought may play a part


Global food prices ended their three month slide after they stabilized in January, but the United Nations warned prices could spike in 2013 if poor weather curtails production of wheat, corn, rice and other crops.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said the food price index, which measures monthly price changes in cereals, dairy, meat, sugar and oilseeds, was 210 points in January, unchanged from the prior month.

Food prices have leveled off and even declined in recent months after climbing during much of 2012 amid concern that drought plaguing the United States and other parts of the world could spark a food crisis. In 2008, soaring food prices sparked food riots and led to political instability in some parts of the world, including Haiti and Egypt.

“Given the tight supply situation, weather remains an important determinant of prices,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, FAO’s senior grains economist. “For several cereals, production needs to increase significantly this year in order to avoid unexpected price surges.”

Food prices in the United States are forecast to rise between 3 and 4 percent this year, an increase from 2.6 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Beef and poultry are responsible for much of the jump in 2013.

Early prospects for 2013 cereal production point to a better world wheat crop, the UN said in its report. Contributing largely to this increase is an estimated 4 to 5 percent increase in wheat acreage in the European Union where weather conditions have been strong.

The UN said the outlook for wheat in the United States is “less favorable.”The agency said despite a 1 percent increase in winter wheat plantings and an expected surge in plantings for spring wheat , severe drought continues to plague the southern Plains where much of the crop is considered very poor.

Locally, 99.98 percent of Iowa is classified by the U.S. government as having moderate to exceptional drought, up from 30 percent at this time last year.

Doug Boland, who farms near Williamsburg Iowa, said he will be keeping a close watch on the planting conditions this spring. If it’s dry when he’s ready to plant, he may decide to reduce the number of corn seeds he sows per acre, leaving fewer plants to compete for water.

“It’s too early to panic or start worrying about the what-ifs,” said Boland. “We’ve been through this before, either too dry or too wet, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

In its outlook, the UN estimated world cereal production at 2.302 billion, up 20 million tonnes from the December estimate, but still down 2 percent from 2011’s record crop. The increase reflected largely favorable wheat and corn crops. Cereal stocks at the close of crop seasons ending in 2013 are estimated at around 495 million tonnes, down 3 percent from their opening level.

The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly crop report detailing U.S. and global production and stock levels at noon eastern time on Friday.



Subject Author Kudos Posted
This is a topic with new unread messages 0 ‎02-07-2013 10:26 PM