Prices at the supermarket in Great Britian
From the Times of London 'Online'
Families have been warned that the prices of basic foods will rise steeply again because of acute shortages in commodity markets.
Experts told The Times yesterday that prices of rice, wheat and vegetable oil would rise further. They also forecast that high prices and shortages -- which have caused riots in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Haiti -- were here to stay, and that the days of cheap produce would not return. Food-price inflation has already pushed up a typical family's weekly shopping bill by 15 per cent in a year.
A further 15 per cent increase in the price of a standard Kingsmill loaf would push it up from £1.09 to to £1.24. Butter has gone up by 62 per cent in the past year. A similar rise would bring the price of a 250g pack to £1.52. (British pound translates into $2 (two) US dollars.)
The price of rice, which has almost tripled in a year, rose 2 per cent on the Chicago Board of Trade yesterday as the United Nations food agency gave warning that millions faced starvation because aid agencies were unable to meet the additional financial burden.
Gordon Brown responded to mounting concerns about the global rise in food prices by signalling that he might scale back Britain's commitment to biofuels, which critics say has exacerbated the food crisis because land has been given over to grow crops for energy rather than food.
John Bason, finance director of Associated British Foods, one of Britain's biggest food producers, said that wheat prices had doubled in a year and supermarkets would have to raise the price of bread again. Vegetable oil was also likely to soar in price because the price of corn oil in the US had almost tripled, he said.
Poor harvests and fierce competition for food supplies has already meant the price of eggs, rice, bread and pasta in supermarkets has rocketed.
MySupermarket.co.uk said that eggs from free-range poultry in Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's were 47 per cent more expensive than a year ago; basmati rice was up 61 per cent and fusilli pasta 81 per cent.