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Food Price Watch, November 2013: Prices Decline but Remain High as Weather Concerns Increase

In this issue
  • International prices of food continued to decline between June and October 2013, but remain close to all-time highs.
  • Favorable weather conditions and improved production prospects have helped sustain price declines; yet, unpredictable weather conditions and uncertainties might affect price trends going forward.
  • Q&A explores the possibilities and risks of super farms as a booster of agricultural productivity and poverty reduction.

World Bank Global Food Price Index

Weather has played a role, alongside improved production prospects, in sustained price declines. Favorable outlooks for the supply of cereals predict record harvests for wheat, maize, and rice. 

However, deteriorating weather conditions and other uncertainties might further affect price trends. Bad weather in South America, Black Sea countries, China and India particularly warrants concern.

This issue of the Food Price Watch also explores the role that extra-large scale farming, popularly known as “super farms” may play in boosting agricultural productivity and poverty reduction. The jury is still out on whether this trend has a positive or negative effect on boosting shared prosperity, especially in those countries with fragile institutions and poor oversight: social, environmental and animal welfare concerns must be weighed with potentially promising benefits such as jobs and efficiency gains. Read José Cuesta's blog: Are Super Farms the Solution to the World's Food Insecurity Challenge?

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