In July after the post on the drought conditions causing food inflation globally (see this discussion), we've gotten a number of comments stating that it's a North American problem. In particular emails from India and the Middle East stated adamantly that many poor regions of the world rely more on rice - therefore corn prices in the US would not be an issue. The statement about rice is in fact correct. But it's not just about corn (see discussion on soy), and stable rice harvests are not going to prevent global food inflation that is threatening a number of nations. Unfortunately it will be the poor communities that will be hit the hardest.
Reuters: - World food prices jumped 10 percent in July as drought parched crop lands in the United States and Eastern Europe, the World Bank said in a statement urging governments to shore up programs that protect their most vulnerable populations.
From June to July, corn and wheat prices rose by 25 percent each, soybean prices by 17 percent, and only rice prices went down, by 4 percent, the World Bank said on Thursday.Let's just hope that our friends on the FOMC are keenly aware of this situation and consider the full ramifications of their actions.
Overall, the World Bank's Food Price Index, which tracks the price of internationally traded food commodities, was 6 percent higher than in July of last year, and 1 percent over the previous peak of February 2011.