UN: High crop prices fueling global inflation for basic foodstuffs

Production problems and low stocks will keep global cereal prices high next year, fueling inflation for basic foodstuffs like bread, pasta, meat and milk in many parts of the world, a UN food agency said Wednesday. Many countries are expected to pay more in 2008 for their cereal imports, causing a ripple effect through the food supply chain that will raise retail prices for animal feeds and basic foods, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said in its "Food Outlook" report. Dairy products have posted the largest gains on the year, in some instances climbing more than 200 percent, the agency said.