January 7, 2011 / 7:04 AM / 8 years ago

G20 to discuss food security measures - South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - The Group of 20 developed and leading emerging economies will discuss steps to address soaring food prices, including regulating commodity-linked derivative trades, a senior G20 negotiator said on Friday.

Rhee Chang-yong, G20 official for South Korea which hosted the G20 summit in November, told reporters working-group talks were under way to improve global cooperation to resolve food security problems ahead of a summit in Paris later this year.

“Proposed agendas by now include how to improve transparency in food and energy derivatives trades, whether it is desirable to use food as bio-fuels and how to cooperate on trade restrictions undertaken by some countries,” Rhee said.

“France is emphasising food security. As a former host country of G20, we would like to deal with the price volatility problem thoroughly..”

The former economics professor and a senior financial regulator added that information sharing on food harvest timetables and oil supply were also being discussed, but had yet to develop into detailed talks.

Record high food prices are moving to the top of policymaker agendas, driven by fears it could stoke inflation, protectionism and unrest and dent consumer demand in key emerging economies.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Wednesday that food prices hit an all-time high in December and could rise further on erratic global weather patterns.

G20 deputy finance chiefs will meet in Paris next weekend for framework working-group discussion.

Reporting by Kim Yeonhee; Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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