International Policy and Regulatory Frameworks
Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse and Nicole Weisfelt
Chapter 9: The financialisation of agricultural commodity futures trading: the 2006–08 global food crisis
The increase and volatility of primary commodity prices during 2006–08 had a severe impact on food security throughout the world. Prices soared, and as a result of the crisis 75 million more people became undernourished and food insecure. It led to civil unrest in over 40 countries, and reactionary protectionist trade measures that only further exacerbated the crisis. The high cost of importing food hit the most vulnerable countries particularly hard. The food import bill of the 50 least developed countries in 2007 reached USD 17.9 billion (30 per cent more than in 2006) and in 2008 reached USD 24.6 billion (37 per cent more than in 2007). Higher food and fuel prices also led to substantial increases in headline inflation, particularly in emerging markets and low-income countries. Governments concerned about the stability of food supplies began acquiring farmland in foreign, mostly developing, countries as an alternative to purchasing food from international markets.
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