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The role of inventory adjustments in quantifying factors causing food price inflation

Author

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  • Hochman, Gal
  • Rajagopal, Deepak
  • Timilsina, Govinda
  • Zilberman, David

Abstract

The food commodity price increases beginning in 2001 and culminating in the food crisis of 2007/08 reflected a combination of several factors, including economic growth, biofuel expansion, exchange rate fluctuations, and energy price inflation. To quantify these influences, the authors developed an empirical model that also included crop inventory adjustments. The study shows that, if inventory effects are not taken into account, the impacts of the various factors on food commodity price inflation would be overestimated. If the analysis ignores crop inventory adjustments, it indicates that prices of corn, soybean, rapeseed, rice, and wheat would have been, respectively, 42, 38, 52, and 45 percent lower than the corresponding observed prices in 2007. If inventories are properly taken into account, the contributions of the above mentioned factors to those commodity prices are 36, 26, 26, and 35 percent, respectively. Those four factors, taken together, explain 70 percent of the price increase for corn, 55 percent for soybean, 54 percent for wheat, and 47 percent for rice during the 2001-2007 period. Other factors, such as speculation, trade policy, and weather shocks, which are not included in the analysis, might be responsible for the remaining contribution to the food commodity price increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Hochman, Gal & Rajagopal, Deepak & Timilsina, Govinda & Zilberman, David, 2011. "The role of inventory adjustments in quantifying factors causing food price inflation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5744, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5744
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Xiaoguang & Khanna, Madhu, 2014. "Indirect Land Use Effects of Corn Ethanol in the U.S: Implications for the Conservation Reserve Program," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170284, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Héctor M. Núñez & Andrés Trujillo-Barrera, 2015. "Impact of U.S. Biofuel Policy in the Presence of Drastic Climate Conditions," Working papers DTE 585, CIDE, División de Economía.
    3. Cororaton, Caesar B. & Timilsina, Govinda R. & Mevel, Simon, 2010. "Impacts Of Large Scale Expansion Of Biofuels On Global Poverty And Income Distribution," Proceedings Issues, 2010: Climate Change in World Agriculture: Mitigation, Adaptation, Trade and Food Security, June 2010, Stuttgart- Hohenheim, Germany 91279, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    4. 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.
    5. John Baffes & Damir Cosic, 2014. "Global Economic Prospects : Commodity Markets Outlook, January 2014," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18996, January.
    6. Capitani, Daniel Henrique Dario, 2014. "Biofuels versus food: How much Brazilian ethanol production can affect domestic food prices," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170267, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Gbadebo Oladosu & Siwa Msangi, 2013. "Biofuel-Food Market Interactions: A Review of Modeling Approaches and Findings," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(1), pages 1-19, February.
    8. Drabik, Dusan, 2011. "The Theory of Biofuel Policy and Food Grain Prices," Working Papers 126615, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    9. de Gorter, Harry & Rausser, Gordon C., 2013. "US Policy Contributions to Agricultural Commodity Price Fluctuations, 2006-12," WIDER Working Paper Series 033, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    11. Leucci, A. C. & Ghinoi, S. & Sgargi, D. & Wesz, V. J., Jr., 2013. "Variation and links among food and energy international prices. An analysis through VAR models from 2000 to 2012," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 149923, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    12. Baffes, John & Dennis, Allen, 2013. "Long-term drivers of food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6455, The World Bank.
    13. John Baffes & Tassos Haniotis, 2016. "What Explains Agricultural Price Movements?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 706-721, September.
    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. Pinstrup-Andersen, Per (ed.), 2016. "Food Price Policy in an Era of Market Instability: A Political Economy Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198788836.
    16. Gutierrez, L. & Piras, F., 2013. "A Global Wheat Market Model (GLOWMM) for the Analysis of Wheat Export Prices," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 149760, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    17. Anelise Rahmeier Seyffarth, 2016. "The Impact of Rising Ethanol Production on the Brazilian Market for Basic Food Commodities: An Econometric Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(3), pages 511-536, July.
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    19. Serra, Teresa & Zilberman, David, 2013. "Biofuel-related price transmission literature: A review," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 141-151.
    20. Gal Hochman & Scott Kaplan & Deepak Rajagopal & David Zilberman, 2012. "Biofuel and Food-Commodity Prices," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-10, September.
    21. Hector, Nuñez & Andres, Trujillo-Barrera, 2014. "Impact of U.S. Biofuel Policy in the Presence of Uncertain Climate Conditions," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170620, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    Markets and Market Access; Economic Theory&Research; Food&Beverage Industry; Access to Markets; Currencies and Exchange Rates;

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