"The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is out with a new report this week on the world food outlook. The general picture is consistent with the themes I outlined in my recent piece on the food supply.
Over all, the F.A.O. foresees a continued tight balance between supply and demand, and continued high prices, this year and into 2012. “The general situation for agricultural crops and food commodities is tight with world prices at stubbornly high levels, posing a threat to many low-income food deficit countries,” David Hallam, director of markets and trade at the F.A.O., said in a statement accompanying the release of the report.
The report does contain some good news. Global rice production is outstripping demand — and stocks are growing, likely to reach their highest point this year since 2002. That is a far cry from the panic buying and national hoarding that broke out in the rice market in 2008.
But the situation is less hopeful for other cereals, particularly wheat."