Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics

The Trade Hot Topics series provides concise and informative analyses of various trade and trade-related issues which are prepared both by Commonwealth Secretariat and international experts.


Surging Food Prices and Commonwealth Developing Countries

Since 2003, international prices of a wide range of commodities have surged upwards in dramatic fashion, in many cases more than doubling in the space of a few years or even months. Unlike other commodities, surging food prices are of special concern to the world’s poor. Many impoverished people depend on food production for their livelihoods, and all poor people spend large portions of their household budgets on food. There are concerns that millions of people may have been plunged into poverty by this crisis, and that the already poor households suffer further through increased hunger and malnutrition. The 53 members of the Commonwealth comprise a diverse group of high-, middle- and low-income countries, including countries with large populations such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; small island states like Antigua and Barbuda, and Seychelles; and net food or oil producers, for example Australia, Canada and Nigeria. This issue of Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics summarises the key findings of a study commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the impact of surging food prices on Commonwealth developing countries.


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