UN Reports April Food Prices Climb Again, Hit Second Highest Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

And even as Bernanke continues to believe he can take away inflation with a 15 minute wave of his magic wand, the downstream effect persist. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization reported that April food prices rose once again, from 231 to 232.1, putting it at the second highest compared to the all time high peak hit in February. Bloomberg reports: "“There seems to be some easing for a lot of commodities, but whether this is demand rationing, we have to wait and see,” Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the FAO, said before the report. “If the weather is good, if plantings expand, I think we could see some relief in food prices." Granted, in April various food commodities have seen their prices drop: "Sugar prices slumped 18 percent in New York last month, while milk futures fell 1.8 percent in Chicago, U.S. wholesale beef prices dropped 3.4 percent and pork declined 2.2 percent. Wheat prices rose 5 percent in Chicago after falling the previous two months and corn jumped 9.1 percent." Yet the drop has not been uniform: "Corn has almost doubled in the past 12 months on speculation that more planting in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, won’t be sufficient to rebuild global stocks. Wheat surged 57 percent over the same period and soybeans gained 39 percent as flooding ruined crops in Canada and Australia and drought reduced harvests in Russia and Europe. Of the grains, corn “is the most worrisome,” Abbassian said in a statement. “We would need above-average, if not record, yields in the U.S.,” however, “plantings so far have been delayed considerably due to cool and wet conditions on the ground,” he said." On the other hand, as most know, a far bigger issue is that prices tend to be sticky on the upside once they begin rising. And a cursory check in local retail stores confirms that any price drop has yet to impact the US proper.

Full data:

Unfortunately, the chance of a sustained price drop even on the margin seems rather distant for now:

World grain stocks will probably slide for a second year in the 12 months through June 2012 as corn consumption outpaces production and dry weather hurts wheat prospects in the U.S. and the European Union, the International Grains Council said in a report April 20.

“With demand continuing strongly, prospects for a return to more normal prices hinge largely on how much production will increase and how much grain reserves are replenished in the new season,” David Hallam, the director of FAO’s Trade and Market division, said in a statement.

The FAO’s food-price index fell for eight months in a row after reaching its previous peak in June 2008, a situation that probably won’t be repeated this year, Concepcion Calpe, an economist at the UN agency, said last month. “Very strong” demand for food, feed and biofuel may mean prices will climb in coming months, she said.
Meat Prices

The index of meat prices, which make up 35 percent of the overall index, was little changed at 172.8, up 0.5 percentage point from the March level.

The FAO index of sugar prices fell to 347.8 points, the lowest level in seven months, from 372.3 in March. Cooking-oil prices slipped to 259.1 points in April from 259.9, while the dairy index fell to 228.7 from 234.4 in March.

Food output will have to climb by 70 percent from 2010 to 2050 as the world population swells to 9 billion and rising incomes boost meat and dairy consumption, the FAO forecasts. Producing 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of pork can take 3.5 kilograms of feed, U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows.

About 44 million people have been pushed into poverty since June by the “dangerous levels” of food prices, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in February. Another 10 million may join them should the UN food index rise another 10 percent, the World Bank said April 16. The number of hungry people in the world globally declined last year to 925 million from more than 1 billion in 2009, according to the FAO.

“A sliding dollar and increased oil prices are contributing to high food-commodity prices,” Hallam said.

Full release can be found here.

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GetZeeGold's picture


It's deflation....trust me.




Troll Magnet's picture

yeah...my dollar keeps deflating.

JW n FL's picture


1. http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BASE

Base money has tripled in 3 years.

2. M1 has continued to increase to its highest level in history.


3. Same goes for M2


JW n FL's picture


1. http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BASE

Base money has tripled in 3 years.

2. M1 has continued to increase to its highest level in history.


3. Same goes for M2


amanfromMars's picture

It's deflation....trust me. ....by GetZeeGold on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:19

Of course it has absolutely nothing to do with the naked short selling scams which create artificial markets/virtual realities/fabulous zeroday vulnerabilities in the system which are opportunities for ....... well, the new bogeymen are something which are especially programmed for you to discover and uncover for yourself  ....... http://cryptogon.com/?p=22169 ...... if you are smart and good enough.





Racer's picture

Inflation is well contained.....

GetZeeGold's picture



Inflation is well contained.....


.....and we're all pretty damned glad to hear that.



Sudden Debt's picture


writingsonthewall's picture

This inflation talk - only affects food, gas and other non-essential items.


The really important stuff - Ipads, Plasma screens, power tools and key rings are all deflationary.

As soon as there is any sign of inflation in these essentials I am certain Ben will stop the printing. /sarc


I mean it's not like there is an advantage to high inflation for those in huge debts....

Ancona's picture

Food....It's what may or may not be for dinner.

Here in the states, we have record numbers of SNAP recipients and record levels of continuing unemployment. If the dollar keeps shitting the bed, we may see widespread starvation around the world. Given that we're experiencing major flooding and major drought in a number of key growing areas, we are sure to see nothing but rising prices for the forseeable future. Stock up now boys and girls, while you still can.

NotAllowed's picture

Here in Montana, we usually have our crops in the ground, but Winter will not seem to let go this year, and farmers are panicking.  Were already several weeks late.  Hope summer lasts longer than normal or were really screwed.  My neighbors are on SNAP, but managed to come home in a new minivan the other day.....go figure.

Mentaliusanything's picture

They are a smart mob. The new mini van is the more reliable "getaway car" for when the SHTF

Agent P's picture

Just starting to see some planters in the fields here in Central Illinois, and a lot of fields haven't even been plowed yet.  "Corn knee high by the 4th of July" may actually hold true this year...it's usually taller than that in early June around here.

As for your neighbor, I'd say that's par for the course.  I'm all for feeding people who can't afford it, but the corruption has to end...you have my permission to shoot him.

the grateful unemployed's picture

the question is which industry will the US nationalize first, energy or agriculture.

mlbs's picture

That is the question of the decade my friend.

Urban Redneck's picture

Because the output of GM and Chrylser climbed so high after they jumped into bed with the DC trolls.

It  takes a special Satanic breed of politician to successfully resurrect Parson Malthus from the grave, but apparently we have them.   

darteaus's picture


Sutton's picture

"The rise in equity prices is directly related to my policies, but the massive rise in commodities is not."


Ben Bernank

Chuck Norris's picture

Someone shimmed my lock at the gym, stole my credit card, and attempted to buy an iPad.  It was declined. 

I'm guessing they saw the price of food was too high and decided it was cheaper to buy the iPad and eat it; no inflation there.

Sudden Debt's picture

What kind of idiot would buy a Ipad with a stolen credit card.

Everybody knows you can track any move you do when you have a Ipad. Even the cops can catch him now!




Troll Magnet's picture

yeah...if you were actually living in a first world country.

true story: a few years ago, some fuckers broke into my house and took a whole bunch of things including my organizer that had some credit cards in it.  i immediately called the cops and then called the credit card companies to report them stolen, all except for one - it just simply escaped my mind.  then, i get a call from my credit card company the next day telling me that my spending pattern in the last 24 hours seemed odd.  sure enough, the fuckers who broke into my house went on a spending spree at Target.  yes.  Target.  so i make a series of calls and track down the location (i was living in los angeles at the time and there are several Targets).  i drive there, ask to talk to the manager, confirm that these fuckers came in the night before and tried to make a big purchase (xbox, plasma tv, etc, etc).  i tell the manager what happened and ask if they have the surveillance camera footage that they can turn over to the police.  the manager, sympathetic, swiftly agrees.  we call the cops right there.  i waited for two hours and they don't show.  so i call back and they tell me that i shouldn't wait for them, that they wanted me to leave the premise in case i run into these criminals.  i reluctantly agree but wait in my car for another hour.  the cops don't show.  at this point, i start worrying about someone breaking into my house again - i was traumatized by the experience at the time - so i decide to have faith in the law and go home.


and guess what?


not a goddamned thing happened.  i didn't hear a fucking thing from the LAPD, so i go back to the said Target store the next day, talk to the manager and he tells me that the cops did show up 8 hours AFTER we made the call, at which point the manager had already gone home.  he tells me that they supposedly saw the video footage and left.


so i go to my local police station, find the detective assigned to my case.  he tells me that he's on it and i shouldn't worry, that they've already identified the suspect and all that bullshit.  i leave feeling less confident than ever.  a month passes by.  i hear nothing.  i go back to the police station and seriously, i swear this is true: the detective has been reassigned to another location in the city and they couldn't tell me who was in charge of my case anymore.  i mean, i literally delivered the criminals to their door and they still fucking failed to do jack shit about it.


a year later, i went back to the police station to see if they've done anything about my case.  some arrogant jackass who calls himself a detector spends 20 minutes "looking for" my file, couldn't find it and tells me that they probably caught the criminals and that they were all probably in jail.  he was so fucking curt and rude with me, the tax paying victim, that i just left shaking my head.  the following week, i took a day off from work to go to a city council meeting.  i pull my city councilman aside and tell him my story.  he listens, tells me that he'll do something about it.  again, i had zero confidence anything would come out of it.


a week later, i go back to the police station, trying to get some closure, and the moment i walk in, this asshole detective yells at me for going to and telling the city councilman about my story because the councilman called my local police station and cussed them out for being so fucking incompetent.  on the one hand, i feel good about them getting cussed out.  on the other hand, it was surreal to sit there and get yelled at by a detective who was supposed to help me.  i didn't know what the fuck to think.  would it be wise for me to yell back at this guy?  should i go talk to the city councilman again?  in the meantime, other cops in the office were all glaring at me, i guess for telling the city councilman my story, and i start to think these pigs could potentially try to get back at me for my actions.  WTF?  so i just left quietly without seeking anything new and decided to let go of the whole thing.


i'm so fucking glad i'm not in america anymore. 

gall batter's picture

Is it any better where you are?  I have no confidence in the police yet I'm not sure I have what it takes to leave this country.  

the grateful unemployed's picture

falling food prices is evidence of deflation. vendors have little or no pricing power. the population is static, there is no growth in demand and personal income is falling relative to prices.

silvertrain's picture

No Yen intervention?

QQQBall's picture

This sounds bad for ethanol yields ;)... can I live on a diet of Ipads with ethanol chasers?

Council of Economic Terrorists's picture

With rising gas and food prices and state budgets needing to be balanced for FY 2012, it's  either "Summer of Rage 2011" or bullish for PMs as Bernanke comes to the states rescue.

I'm getting popcorn for either outcome.

tmosley's picture

Damn, I guess we'll all have to eat paper silver salads.

HamyWanger's picture

Question to silverbugs: how does it feel to lose 25% of your life savings in 72 hours? 

GetZeeGold's picture



Ask me the same question next week.


Quick answer is....I don't know.....I bought it at $5.18. Would you like to see a reciept?



SheepDog-One's picture

Havent lost anything until the sell order is executed. I never bought silver at $10 to make $2 in a 'trade'....long term buy and hold, bitchez's.

Council of Economic Terrorists's picture

Even though I know you are a HB Gary troll I will still say this. I will gladly exchange symbolic worthless paper or digital tokens  for something of real value.  There is effort, production, and rarity within precious metals.  If you think the US will make good on a projected > $100 trillion of promises on a cumulative account in an honest fashion, all the power to you.    

Hephasteus's picture

He's not hammywanger. Our 2m's reverse troll. He's a new real troll.

Max Hunter's picture

I'm still up about 120%... No worries here.. a few months of USD strenth and price pressure on PM's and commodities are welcomed.. Holding physical silver for the long term.. 

psychologicalmess's picture

I just checked.  My silver's where I hid it.  I haven't lost anything.  I guess when I lose my mind, I'll forget where I hid my silver.   

RobotTrader's picture

Inflation worries are over.

CRB Index now in full crash mode.

Gold and silver look like they are going through a 1987 style crash.

SheepDog-One's picture

Hey MomoFader hows yer crAAPL doin today? How much does Tyler pay you to do this little chart posting sunshine and unicorn dew clownshow?

Atomizer's picture

Another WFP budget shortfall.


Now is not the time to turn back.  As Congress convenes in the next two weeks, faced with tough choices regarding the FY 2011 budget, we urge continued U.S. leadership in addressing global hunger, and not at the expense of other vital programs that build stability by helping the world’s poor and most vulnerable.  Doing so will save millions of lives and help build a safer and more prosperous world for us all. 


stitch-rock's picture

Long chickens, cows and moonshine...

treemagnet's picture

"Come in to my parlor said the Bernanke to the sheeple".

mr. mirbach's picture

Time to go long MREs

Mentaliusanything's picture

April fools...... not so much more to say

6 String's picture

Hasn't anyone noticed? Crude is also being taken to the woodshed? No QE3 announcement, Silver leads the fall, now Crude, next every major agricultrual commodity where there is massive contracts on margin.

I'm really glad this is happening--the sell-offs via margin requirements. It's an excellent reminder that this entire economy is based on financial shennagins backed by almost nothing real--including the recent run-up on the COMEX silver spot market (obviously not a true price discovery mechanism, if it were, silver would be at 100 oz already) which was clearly boosted by margin, which we all know is a Wall Street game....which makes up nearly 55% of the economy in one way or another....and we wonder why the productive class in this country are disappearing and being mauled like rotten rats...can't have a real market with real businesses....must be connected to Wall Street to get away with running a business nowadays....or else the government will find a way to shut you down via regulations.

America has become a big pile of Horseshit.

Mentaliusanything's picture

Speaking of Horse shit, Bags of it sold by kids along the roads side have gone up in price from $1.50 to $3 bennie bucks. And the bags are smaller (and I suspect the horse are shitting smaller turds)

Ones deflation and the other is inflation - both screw you

Just saying 

Bicycle Repairman's picture

I guess once gas hit $4 and silver hit $50, it was time ti pull the plug on commodities gambling.

6 String's picture

Oh, are you catching the concentrated take-down in silver between 10:30 and 12? Happens EVERY single day. Then silver settles a bit past 12, then a dump right before the close.

It's fucking clockwork. And the despots will gently pull this market down...but not too much, say, .50% for the day so to not trigger any alarm bells and try to give way to the appearance the market is real, which it clearly is not.

Mec-sick-o's picture

Well, well... it seems the producers margins are going improve, and middlemen squeezed.  Nice.

alexanderstollznow's picture

it is certainly good to see independent research reproduced here which verifies what everyone knows ie that high ag prices are related to high demand and supply issues.  most appreciated.

it is most interesting that, despite the weak US$, the supposedly hyperinflatinary MP in the US, and high wholesale prices, the actual CPI is still only barely up to target levels.  the significant downdraught in commodity prices this week isnt going to help the hyperinflation thesis.  which would be a pity:  i would hate to have to see a mass admission that there never was any hyperinflation AND no QE3.  it would just be embarrassing to listen to.


one thing i am, however, unsure about:  is it JPM or Goldman Sachs who control everything in the world?  or do they share the burden?  if they share it, do you think they have an equal vote, or do the bitchez have some kind of weighted voting system?