Food Prices Flatten

Global food prices have leveled off, according to the Economist food price index out today. It’s settled at 251.5, down 0.6 percent from a week ago and up 61.3 percent from a year ago. I don’t understand it well enough to know for sure, but I’ve got to assume that 0.6 percent over a week is noise, and therefore this is essentially unchanged from last week.

Also on the food front, a blog comment from Paul Collier on how truly fucked up the global food market is, and the way policy failures are bleeding into the food market in the form of people rioting because they’re hungry:

Our longstanding agricultural romanticism has been compounded by our new-found environmental romanticism. In the United States fears of climate change have been manipulated by shrewd interests to produce grotesquely inefficient subsidies for bio-fuel. Around a third of American grain production has rapidly been diverted into energy production. This switch demonstrates both the superb responsiveness of the market to price signals, and the shameful power of subsidy-hunting lobby groups.