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Global economy supplement: the cost of food

The cost of chocolate is unlikely to rise

By Nick Carn  

Food prices have moved substantially in the course of the last decade. The single most important short term influence on wholesale food prices is the price of oil—not the edible type but the black sticky stuff over which wars are fought. Making artificial fertiliser is very energy intensive and it is the cost of fertiliser that affects food prices at the margin. The oil price soared between 2006 and 2008 and food prices rocketed too. Rice rose by 217 per cent, wheat by 136 per cent and soy by 107 per cent. The effect of rising energy costs was further…

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