Thursday, February 26, 2009

Economists slate briefing on drivers of food prices

When Farm Foundation released the report, "What's Driving Food Prices?" in July 2008, prices for grains and oilseeds, as well as crude oil, were at or near record-high levels. Low global grain stocks combined with spring weather problems had spurred worries about inadequate supplies. Biofuels were a growing market for grains. High food prices and short supplies fueled intensive debate.

Today, eight months later, the landscape is remarkably different. The 2008-09 crop production was higher than forecast. Crude oil prices have dropped significantly. Grain and oilseed prices have declined. Biofuel production has slowed. The value of the U.S. dollar has appreciated. A global financial crisis and recession now dominate the news. Given these changes, Farm Foundation asked the report's authors, Purdue University economists Phil Abbott, Chris Hurt and Wally Tyner, to update their analysis of the drivers of food prices. Their findings will be the subject of the next Farm Foundation Forum, form 9 to 11 a.m. March 11 at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW in Washington. Coffee will be available at 8:30 a.m. There is no charge to attend, but please RSVP by noon CST, March 9, to Communications Director Mary Thompson, by clicking here.

No comments: