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Drought weighs on world food prices

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 01:55

Aug. 15 - The OECD has raised concerns over the rising cost of food prices globally as Romania becomes the latest country to report devastated crops due to drought. Hayley Platt reports.

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Emil Dinca's farm in Seaca, Romania, would normally be bursting with crops at this time of year. Instead he says he'll be lucky to salvage 20 percent thanks to soaring temperatures and drought. (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) ROMANIAN FARMER EMIL DINCA, SAYING: "We will probably lose much of our wheat, barley, corn and sunflower crops. We will have to rely on subsidies to keep going." Romania may not be a major supplier but drought is a global problem. In some parts of Russia the grain harvests are down by 50 percent Mexico too is experiencing it's worst drought in seven decades with almost 70 percent of the country affected. And it's the worst drought for 56 years in the U.S. That pushed last month's corn prices up by 23 percent. The OECD's Secretary General Angel Gurria says a crisis is looming. SOUNDBITE: Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General, SAYING (English): "More people are going to bed hungry because they cannot make ends meet. They cannot buy enough food as they used to yesterday or a month ago before these prices went up, so the issue has to be addressed." Food inflation is becoming a political issue - G20 leaders are reportedly due to discuss it during a phone conference later this month. SOUNDBITE: Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General, SAYING (English): "If there is a very bad crop in a very important producer country there are bound to be increases in prices in general but also can we improve the question of trade by compensating where there are scarcities." The OECD says a meeting of agriculture ministers may be called before the end of the month. And food prices are being closely watched in the meantime. Hayley Platt, Reuters.

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Drought weighs on world food prices

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 01:55