A new report from USDA examines the rise in food commodity prices, including factors such as demand, weather, energy prices, trade and monetary policies, and biofuels.

The report, noting the continuity in biofuels demand both before and after recent food price swings, stated that while the expansion of biofuels was an important factor underlying the general rise of food commodity prices in 2002-06 and their movement to a higher plane, it is less clear how much additional impact biofuels had during the subsequent 2007-08 spike in prices, as evidenced by biofuels’ continued and growing presence through both the upside and downside of the spike