Food Prices, Food Price Volatility and the Financialization of Agricultural Futures Markets

Over the long term, food prices have tended to decline in real terms, as the result of increased yields. Averaging over the four years 2011-14, the deflated price of grains and vegetable oils are respectively 15% and 14% lower respectively than those over the four years 1969-72; the prices of softs (cocoa, coffee, tea and sugar) are 35% lower. However, prices have tended to rise over the period since 2000. In 2011, grains prices were 92% higher than in 2000, vegetable oil prices 136% higher and softs prices 65% higher. Prices have dropped back slightly from 2012.

Gilbert C.L. 2015. "Food prices, food price volatility and the financialization of agricultural futures markets" Ferdi Note Brève B144, décembre 2015.