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The rice crisis

Markets, policies and food security








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    Document
    The 2007-08 Rice Price Crisis
    How policies drove up prices... and how they can help stabilise the market
    2011
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    After increasing slowly and steadily from historic lows, world rice prices tripled in just six months during 2007-08. The price surge caused much anxiety because so many of the world’s poor are rice consumers. And it caught many by surprise as market fundamentals were sound. Indeed, it was government policies, rather than changes in the production and consumption of rice, that drove the surge. This suggests that improved government policies can help avert such crises in the future.
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    Book (series)
    Food Outlook – Biannual Report on Global Food Markets
    jun/22
    2022
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    In view of the soaring input prices,concerns about the weather, and increased market uncertainties stemming from the war in Ukraine, FAO’s latest forecasts point to a likely tightening of food markets in 2022. Meanwhile, the global food import bill is on course to hit a new record high of USD 1.8 trillion, an all-time high, almost entirely on account of higher prices. Issued twice a year, Food Outlook offers FAO’s reviews of market supply and demand trends for the world’s major foodstuffs, including cereals, oilcrops, sugar, meat and dairy and fish. It also looks at trends in futures markets and shipping costs for food commodities. The new edition also contains two special chapters examining the role of rising prices for agricultural inputs, such as fuel and fertilizers, and the risks the war in Ukraine poses for global food commodity markets. Food Outlook is published by the Markets and Trade Division of FAO as part of the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS). Food Outlook maintains a close synergy with another major GIEWS publication, Crop Prospects, and Food Situation, especially with regard to the coverage of cereals. Food Outlook is available in English. The summary section is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.
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    The Breakdown of the Doha Round Negotiations – What Does it Mean for Dealing with Soaring Food Prices? 2008
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    Summary of Key Points: • Current WTO rules have not prevented countries from using trade policies to mitigate the negative effects of soaring global food prices on domestic markets. However, imbalances in the rules may have resulted in inappropriate policy responses. • Reductions in tariffs applied to basic foods, which were generally fairly low to start with, have been ineffective in offsetting increases in food prices. By contrast, the widespread use of export restrictions has created unc ertainty over the reliability of world markets as a source of imports. • A functional instrument to operationalize the Marrakesh Decision would have been helpful to countries facing surges in food import bills. • The draft Modalities under negotiation in the Doha Round were unlikely to change this situation. However, the current impasse provides an opportunity for strengthening certain rules to promote more appropriate policy responses to future food crises.

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