With weakened consumer purchasing power resulting from sluggish global economic performance, food prices are expected to drop in 2012, according to the World Bank.

The anticipated drop in global energy and oil prices, according to the World Bank are also likely to influence food prices downwards.

Global oil prices are expected to sell in the range of $100 per barrel for the better part of 2012.

However, the World Bank in its Food Price Watch report says global prices at the moment remain high due to market volatilities and uncertainty surrounding the prices of oil resulting from embargo threats on Iranian oil.

According to the report global food prices declined 8 per cent between September and December last year due to increased supplies and uncertainity about the global economy. However, at an annual index of 24 per cent, they remained high compared to 2010.

The report indicates that domestic food prices have since December 2010 experienced sharp increments in a number of countries. For instance global rice prices rose by 81 per cent, while sorghum increased by 19 per cent in Uganda in the last quarter of 2011. Maize prices registered a drastic increment rising by up to 117 per cent in Kenya.

Food increments
The report further reveals that wheat prices went up by 88 per cent in Belarus and 23 per cent in Ethiopia, 56 per cent in Malawi, 106 per cent in Mexico, whereas sorghum increased 57 per cent in Burkina Faso and 28 per cent in Ethiopia.

Mr Otaviano Canuto, the World Bank vice president for poverty reduction and economic management said: “The worst food price increases may be over but we must remain vigilant. Prices of certain foods remain dangerously high in many countries, leaving millions of people at risk of malnutrition and hunger.”

By Martin Luthher Oketch, Daily Monitor

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