Food prices are up 30 per cent year-over-year.
If they rise by an equal amount this year, 193 million people will be forced into poverty, according to a new report from the Asia Development Bank. A 30 per cent rise would reduce growth by up to 0.6 per cent. If accompanied by a 30 per cent rise in oil prices, growth will fall nearly two per cent in some countries.
When food prices reached this level in 2008, many called it an aberration. Now it’s seems the rise in food prices is a long term trend, which can’t be chalked up simply to liquidity or weather.
Every country in Asia has taken measures to address the crisis, including tax cuts, export restrictions, price controls and food aid.