Egyptian opposition group Tamarod calls for an outlaw of the Muslim Brotherhood after weapons are found in its Cairo headquarters. Riots in Egypt Reuters The Egyptian opposition group Tamarod, which led the recent protests that resulted in the ousting of…
Soaring prices spark fears of social unrest in developing world John W. Schoen
-Strained by rising demand and battered by bad weather, the global food supply chain is stretched to the limit, sending prices soaring and sparking concerns about a repeat of food riots last seen three years ago.
Signs of the strain can be found from Australia to Argentina, Canada to Russia.
On Friday, Tunisia’s president fled the country after trying to quell deadly riots in the North African country by slashing prices on food staples.
Rising food prices are stoking global inflation with many agricultural commodity markets driven higher by bad weather in key producing countries, a senior trader at JPMorgan said.
“If you break down the inflation numbers then the impact of food has been extremely significant,” Will Shropshire, head of investor trading, product development and agriculturals for JPMorgan said in an interview.
“Increased prices for key agricultural food components (are) undoubtedly going to have an impact on inflation,” he added.
High food prices have moved to the top of policymakers’ agendas because of worries about the impact on inflation, protectionism and unrest.
The United Nations’ food agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said last Wednesday that food prices hit a record high last month, above 2008 levels when riots broke out in countries as far afield as Egypt, Cameroon and Haiti.