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Physical and virtual global food reserves to protect the poor and prevent market failure:

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  • von Braun, Joachim
  • Torero, Maximo

Abstract

"The current food crisis has several causes—rising demand for food and feed, biofuels, high oil prices, climate change, stagnant agricultural productivity growth—but there is increasing evidence that the crisis is being made worse by the malfunctioning of world grain markets. Given the thinness of major markets for cereals, the restrictions on grain exports imposed by dozens of countries have resulted in additional price increases. A number of countries have adopted retail price controls, creating perverse incentives for producers. Speculative bubbles have built up, and the gap between cash and futures prices has risen, stimulating overregulation in some countries and causing some commodity exchanges in Africa and Asia to halt grain futures trading. Some food aid donors have defaulted on food aid contracts. The World Food Programme (WFP) has had difficulty getting quick access to grain for its humanitarian operations. Developing countries are urgently rebuilding their national stocks and re-examining the “merits” of self-sufficiency policies for food security despite high costs. These reactions began as consequences, not causes, of the price crisis, but they exacerbate the crisis and increase the risks posed by high prices. By creating a feedback loop with high food prices, they further increase price levels and volatility, with adverse consequences for the poor and for long-term incentives for agricultural production. Because they impede the free flow of food to where it is most needed and undermine the flow of price signals to farmers, these market failures impose enormous efficiency losses on the global food system, hitting the poorest countries and people hardest." from Author's text

Suggested Citation

  • von Braun, Joachim & Torero, Maximo, 2008. "Physical and virtual global food reserves to protect the poor and prevent market failure:," Policy briefs 4, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:polbrf:4
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    Cited by:

    1. Modena, Matteo, 2011. "Agricultural commodities and financial markets," MPRA Paper 36416, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Sep 2011.
    2. Galtier, F., 2009. "How to Manage Food Price Instability in Developing Countries ?," Working Papers MOISA 200905, UMR MOISA : Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs : CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro - Montpellier, France.
    3. Ganesh Thapa & Raghav Gaiha & Katsushi S. Imai & Varsha S. Kulkarni, 2009. "Soaring Food Prices: A Threat or Opportunity in Asia?," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 6909, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    4. Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Shreedhar, Ganga, 2012. "Economic development, external shocks, and food security in Tajikistan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1163, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Michael Herrmann, 2009. "Food Security And Agricultural Development In Times Of High Commodity Prices," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 196, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    6. Djuric, Ivan & Gotz, Linde & Glauben, Thomas, 2012. "Vertical Price Transmission in Serbian Wheat-to-Bread Supply Chain during the Global Commodity Price Peaks 2007/2008 and 2010/2011," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126775, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Christophe Gouel, 2014. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 261-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pietola, Kyösti & Liu, Xing & Robles, Miguel, 2010. "Price, inventories, and volatility in the global wheat market," IFPRI discussion papers 996, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Cooke, Bryce & Robles, Miguel, 2009. "Recent food prices movements: A time series analysis," IFPRI discussion papers 942, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Hernandez, Manuel & Torero, Maximo, 2010. "Examining the dynamic relationship between spot and future prices of agricultural commodities," IFPRI discussion papers 988, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Beckmann, Joscha & Czudaj, Robert, 2014. "Volatility transmission in agricultural futures markets," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 541-546.
    12. von Braun, Joachim & Tadesse, Getaw, 2012. "Global Food Price Volatility and Spikes: An Overview of Costs, Causes, and Solutions," Discussion Papers 120021, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    13. Niek Koning & Arthur Mol, 2009. "Wanted: institutions for balancing global food and energy markets," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 1(3), pages 291-303, September.

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    Keywords

    Food prices; Food policy; Markets;

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