Hard wheat prices experienced a third day of excessive volatility on August 8, according to the Food Security Portal’s Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System.

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The FAO Food Price Index fell sharply in July, the largest such decline since December 2017. The Index dropped by around 3.7 percent month-to-month from June, as well as 3.7 percent from its July 2017 levels. The decline is driven by reductions across all sub-indices.

The Cereal Price Index fell 3.6 percent from June and 0.8 percent from July 2017. The price of wheat, maize, and rice declined in June, although maize and wheat prices crept back up toward the end of the month due to concerns over production prospects.

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The world will continue to face major challenges from political and economic uncertainty, conflict, and climate change in 2018 and beyond, and the rising trend of anti-globalization in some developed countries could hamper the ability of policymakers to respond to these challenges. The result could be slowed progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and food and nutrition security, especially in developing countries.

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Argentine President Mauricio Macri has said that his country will place development, fairness, and sustainability at the forefront of this year’s G20 agenda, setting the theme of the Argentina G20 Presidency as “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development.” Experts recently gathered at IFPRI for a roundtable discussion on what these themes mean for food production systems, food security, and nutrition.

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The latest version of FAO’s Monthly Report on Food Price Trends (FPMA) was recently released. The February report shows global cereal prices have increased overall since the start of 2018.

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The food system represents a vital economic sector, making up the largest source of employment (both self-employment and wage employment) in many developing countries. This system extends far beyond farm production to include a wide range of activities, including food processing, transportation, and retail.

The FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report for the last quarter of 2017 reports that 37 countries remain in need of food assistance. Twenty-nine of those countries are in Africa, seven are in Asia, and one is in Latin America and the Caribbean. Persistent conflict coupled with weather shocks resulting in production shortfalls are behind most of these needs. All of these factors have limited food access and availability in the affected countries, in some cases severely.

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This piece was originally posted on the IFPRI.org blog
BY ROB VOS, EUGENIO DIAZ-BONILLA, DAVID LABORDE AND VALERIA PIÑEIRO, IFPRI

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This post first appeared on the International Growth Centre blog
By Antoine Bouët and David Laborde, Senior Research Fellows in IFPRI's Markets, Trade and Institutions Division.

Photo Credit: ©IFPRI/Farha Khan

The October edition of the FAO GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Bulletin finds mixed trends in international cereal prices. The global price of wheat rose by 6 percent in September, due in large part to weather-related concerns in the US, Australia, and Argentina. This places wheat prices 14 percent above their September 2016 levels; however, abundant global supplies and strong export competition have worked to limit the price increase.

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