Riot police fire water cannons at protestors attempting to cross the Kasr Al Nile Bridge on January 28, 2011 in downtown Cairo. Photo: GETTY

By Gregory White
Jan. 22, 2011, 12:08 PM

Food inflation is now a reality for much of the world. It contributed to the overthrow of the Tunisian government, has led to riots across the Middle East and North Africa, driven up costs in China and India, and may only be getting started.

Whether you blame a bad crop or bad monetary policy, food inflation is here.

Nomura produced a research report detailing the countries that would be crushed in a food crisis. One, Tunisia, has already seen its government overthrown.

Their description of a food crisis is a prolonged price spike. They calculate the states that have the most to lose by a formula including:

  • Nominal GDP per capita in USD at market exchange rates.
  • The share of food in total household consumption.
  • Net food exports as a percentage of GDP.

We've got the top 25 countries in danger here and the list, including a major financial center, may surprise you.

#25 Venezuela

GDP per capita in USD: $11,246

Food as a percentage of total household consumption: 32.6%

Net food exports (as percentage of GDP): -1.0%

Note: Nomura's index is calculated using these three variables. The higher per capita GDP, the better the number, as consumers have more to spend. The lower percentage of income spent on food, the better. And the more food exported, the better, as it means there is excess for domestic consumption. Source: Nomura

#24 Vietnam

GDP per capita in USD: $1,051

Food as a percentage of total household consumption: 50.7%

Net food exports (as percentage of GDP): 0.8% …

The 25 Countries Whose Governments Could Get Crushed By Food Price Inflation



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