Food price drivers

"So was the great global food shortage and the agriculture supercycle all a mirage? Not so, says Richard Warburton, head of agribusiness at Bidwells, a specialist consultancy. “The main drivers remain pretty much intact,” he says, adding “there’s quite a lot of confusion over the impact of the financial crisis.”

The main drivers he refers to are population increases, dietary shift and the growth of biofuels. Only the dietary shift – increasing demand for meat as large numbers of people get richer – is likely to be affected by a global slowdown.

“There were vast numbers of people going through the two dollars a day barrier and starting to eat more meat,” says Mr Warburton. “That may slow, but not much.”

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