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Isn't it just silly to state that core inflation doesn't include the things core to human survival? It is just as silly to hear pundits cling to government mantras and numbers as if they were valid.

From Bloomberg :

China, the world's largest grain producer, raised taxes on fertilizer exports and the Philippines, the biggest rice importer, failed to fill a tender as record prices heightened concern the world is running short of food.

China will increase export duties on all fertilizers and some related raw materials to safeguard local supplies during the main growing season, the Ministry of Finance said today. The Philippines received offers for just two-thirds of the 500,000 metric tons of rice that it sought to buy at a tender.

Rice futures in Chicago surged to a record today, following gains in wheat, corn, palm oil and soybeans, which have all risen to their highest ever this year. The rally, including record crude prices, has stoked concerns inflation will rise and civil unrest may spread. The food crisis was of ``emergency proportions,'' United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said on April 14.

``The prices are just too high,'' Vic Jarina, the deputy director of the Philippines National Food Authority, said today after the rice-supply offers were announced. ``We will review the bids and decide whether we'll have more tenders.''

Rice, the staple food for half the world, rose as much as 57 cents, or 2.5 percent, to a high of $23.12 per 100 pounds (45 kilograms) on the Chicago Board of Trade. The contract, which has more than doubled in the past year, was at $22.985 at 4:47 p.m. Singapore time.

Civil Unrest

The World Bank has forecast that 33 nations from Mexico to Yemen may face social unrest after food and energy costs increased for six straight years. Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis was voted out of office this month by the country's senate after violent protests over food costs.