Food prices around the world reached record highs last year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The FAO Food Price Index surged to a record high in December 2010, driven by rising sugar, cereal and oil prices – topping the previous high of June 2008 when shortages led to a food crisis in some countries.
We are concerned, the real reason for concern is the unpredictability,” said the Food and Agriculture Organization’s economist Abdolreza Abbassian to Reuters.
There is still room for prices to go up much higher, if for example the dry conditions in Argentina tend to become a drought, and if we start having problems with winterkill in the northern hemisphere for the wheat crops
Abbassian noted, however, that some of the factors behind the food riots of 2007 and 2008 in some nations – including weak production in poor countries – do not currently exist, thereby reducing the likelihood of more civil unrest.