Higher Food Prices Here to Stay

Posted June 17th, 2011 at 11:20 am (UTC-5)
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People around the world could soon see more dramatic increases in food prices.

A report released Friday warns cereal prices could jump as much as 20 percent over the next decade, while prices for meat could increase by almost one-third.

The findings are part of the latest outlook from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization .

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria says the impact could be “devastating” in developing countries where many people already spend a large proportion of their income on food.

The report says prices are not expected to reach the peaks seen in 2007-2008, that sparked riots in countries across the globe. But it says rising prices could still threaten the economic stability of some developing countries.

The report says strong harvests in coming months should help provide some relief. But it says prices will rise as demand for food outpaces production.

It says per-capita food consumption will expand most in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The growing demand will put pressure on farms to keep up.

The report says farm output is only expected to increase by 1.7 percent a year over the next decade, compared to the 2.6 percent growth rate seen over the past 10 years.