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What's Driving Food Prices? March 2009 Update

Author

Listed:
  • Abbott, Philip C.
  • Hurt, Christopher
  • Tyner, Wallace E.

Abstract

In the spring and early summer of 2008, the temperature of the rhetoric in the food-versus-fuel debate was skyrocketing right along with the prices of corn, soybeans and crude oil. Farm Foundation is not about heat or fueling fires. Our mission is to be a catalyst for sound public policy by providing objective information to foster deeper understanding of the complex issues before the food system today. We commissioned Purdue University economists Wallace Tyner, Philip Abbott and Christopher Hurt to provide a comprehensive, objective assessment of the forces driving food prices. Released in July 2008, What’s Driving Food Prices? identified three major drivers of prices—depreciation of the U.S. dollar, changes in production and consumption, and growth in biofuels production. The three economists also reviewed more than two dozen reports and studies in the academic and popular press about commodity prices, biofuels and food prices, summarizing them in light of their own examination of the facts. Today, just eight months later, the landscape is remarkably different. The 2008/2009 crop production was higher than forecast, quieting talk of inadequate supplies. Significant declines have occurred in crude oil, grain and oilseed crop prices. Biofuel production has slowed. The value of the U.S. dollar has appreciated. A global financial crisis and recession now dominate the news. Given this remarkable reversal of conditions, we asked Tyner, Abbott and Hurt to reexamine the drivers of food prices. Their analysis indicates that now, as eight months ago, the answers are not simple. While the level of food prices has dropped, the forces driving those prices remain the same today as in July 2008, as does the need to understand how those forces work and interact. As did the July 2008 report, this update reinforces the fact that food prices are influenced by diverse and multiple factors generated by complex global economic issues. It is the intent of Farm Foundation that the objective information provided in this report will help public and private leaders better understand the functions of these driving forces as they make business and public policy decisions for the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Abbott, Philip C. & Hurt, Christopher & Tyner, Wallace E., 2009. "What's Driving Food Prices? March 2009 Update," Issue Reports 48495, Farm Foundation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ffispa:48495
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/48495
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wallace E. Tyner & Farzad Taheripour, 2008. "Policy Options for Integrated Energy and Agricultural Markets," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 387-396.
    2. Tyner Wallace & Taheripour Farzad, 2008. "Biofuels, Policy Options, and Their Implications: Analyses Using Partial and General Equilibrium Approaches," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-19, December.
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    1. The Downside of a Currency War
      by Kindred Winecoff in International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina on 2013-02-16 19:10:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Rajcaniova, Miroslava & Drabik, Dusan & Ciaian, Pavel, 2013. "How policies affect international biofuel price linkages," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 857-865.
    2. Gil-Alana, Luis A. & Chang, Shinhye & Balcilar, Mehmet & Aye, Goodness C. & Gupta, Rangan, 2015. "Persistence of precious metal prices: A fractional integration approach with structural breaks," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 57-64.
    3. Condon, Nicole & Klemick, Heather & Wolverton, Ann, 2015. "Impacts of ethanol policy on corn prices: A review and meta-analysis of recent evidence," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 63-73.
    4. Donato, Romano & Carraro, Alessandro, 2015. "Modelling Acreage, Production and Yield Supply Response to Domestic Price Volatility," 2015 Fourth Congress, June 11-12, 2015, Ancona, Italy 207278, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    5. Awartani, Basel & Aktham, Maghyereh & Cherif, Guermat, 2016. "The connectedness between crude oil and financial markets: Evidence from implied volatility indices," Journal of Commodity Markets, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 56-69.
    6. Mohcine Bakhat & Klaas WŸrzburg, 2013. "Price Relationships of Crude Oil and Food Commodities," Working Papers fa06-2013, Economics for Energy.
    7. Alom, Fardous, 2011. "Economic Effects of Oil and Food Price Shocks in Asia and Pacific Countries: An Application of SVAR Model," 2011 Conference, August 25-26, 2011, Nelson, New Zealand 115346, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Nazlioglu, Saban & Soytas, Ugur, 2011. "World oil prices and agricultural commodity prices: Evidence from an emerging market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 488-496, May.
    9. Fowowe, Babajide, 2016. "Do oil prices drive agricultural commodity prices? Evidence from South Africa," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 149-157.
    10. Mensi, Walid & Hammoudeh, Shawkat & Nguyen, Duc Khuong & Yoon, Seong-Min, 2014. "Dynamic spillovers among major energy and cereal commodity prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 225-243.
    11. Wang, Sun Ling & McPhail, Lihong, 2014. "Impacts of energy shocks on US agricultural productivity growth and commodity prices—A structural VAR analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 435-444.
    12. repec:wsi:ccexxx:v:03:y:2012:i:03:n:s2010007812500121 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Lambert, David K. & Miljkovic, Dragan, 2010. "The sources of variability in U.S. food prices," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 210-222, March.
    14. de Gorter, Harry & Drabik, Dusan, 2015. "Developing Countries' Policy Responses to Food Price Boom and Biofuel Policies," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211564, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Whistance, Jarrett & Ripplinger, David & Thompson, Wyatt, 2016. "Biofuel-related price transmission using Renewable Identification Number prices to signal mandate regime," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 19-29.
    16. Xiarchos, Irene M. & Burnett, J. Wesley & Kucher, Oleg, 2012. "Energy and Speculation: New Dynamics in Agricultural Commodity Price Volatility," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124788, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. Nazlioglu, Saban & Soytas, Ugur, 2012. "Oil price, agricultural commodity prices, and the dollar: A panel cointegration and causality analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1098-1104.
    18. Kim, Man-Keun & Peralta, Denis & McCarl, Bruce A., 2014. "Land-based greenhouse gas emission offset and leakage discounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 265-273.

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    Keywords

    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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