French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on the world's group of 20 rich industrial nations and major emerging markets to set up a shared central database of food prices to help control market volatility and rising commodity prices.
Speaking at a European Commission conference in Brussels, Belgium, Sarkozy said that rising commodity prices are driving up inflation in fast-growing emerging economies, which poses a threat to global feeding balances. A comparison of farm market prices over the last five years, compared with the 15-year period of 1990-2005, indicates that price volatility has doubled for cereals, tripled for sugars and quadrupled for rice, according to Sarkozy.
Sarkozy called on the G-20 nations to increase food and oil production due to rapidly growing demand, and step up transparency on stock information in order to help prevent future food crises. He also proposed measures to curb commodity price volatility include minimum cash deposits for derivative trades as well as the creation of trade repositories that would keep track of these trades.
"Will we have the same disaster in the world of commodities and raw materials? It is a pretty simple question," Sarkozy said. "We have got to tackle it — now. And not put it off."
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