The food situation is becoming critical



17.02.11.Chem further spread across North Africa and the Middle East revolutionary virus, the greater the concern shown by the international institutions regarding the food situation. This week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned that prices have reached "dangerous levels" and do not intend to slow down.

According to the World Bank, in the past, world food prices rose by 29% compared to the previous year, which is only 3% less than in the crisis of 2008. Then, by the way, the increase in food prices has also led to "riots" in several countries.

Earlier similar alarming forecasts is the World Organization for Food and Agriculture at the UN (UN FAO). As of January recorded a new record price index of basic food commodities, which has been growing for seven consecutive months. Subsequently, the price shock may develop into a global food crisis, experts warn FAO.

According to the World Bank, in 2010, another 44 million inhabitants of the Earth joined the number of people living below the poverty line. And as for this, in particular developing countries, worsening the already not too satisfactory standard of living will inevitably backfire by new outbreaks of popular anger.

Zoellick says that the issue of the situation on the world food market in the agenda of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the G20, which is scheduled for next Friday. In particular, the "twenty" should consider a ban on export restrictions. It is these restrictions taken by several countries, coupled with natural disasters were one of the causes of the riots in the Middle East. They were not the main reason for the disorder, but have made a contribution, says the head of the World Bank. Zoellick also expressed fears that as the inflame list of "closed" for exporting countries will grow.

It is not difficult to guess in whose garden the stone. Russia, of course, is not the only country to have had recourse to such drastic measures, but its contribution to the world "feeder" is most noticeable. At the same time Russia is listed in the G20, so that its representatives at the meeting, apparently, have to keep defenses.

Meanwhile, insiders ban on grain exports carefree existence is not provided, and the food inflation they know far too well. Since the beginning of the year, consumer prices rose by 2.9% already, ie just a month and a half inflation "bit off" about half the official forecast MER for 2011 — 6.7%. Top gainers are buckwheat and millet. In the last seven days, from 8 to 15 February, they went up by 2.2% and 2% respectively. "It is still possible to keep inflation close to 7%, if the corresponding world prices for food," — said the head of the Ministry of Economic Nabiullina last week. Joke, I guess.

Independent analysts ministerial humor do not understand and to price the issue taken seriously. Most of them believe that the rise in Russia for the year will be at least 8-9%, and many tend to double digits. Thus, ING Bank economist Dmitry Polevoy this week predicted that the first half of 2011, inflation in Russia could reach annualized 11.5-12%, and by the end of the year to fall to 10.5-10.6%. The most desperate experts scare extremely high 12-15% inflation.


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