UPDATE 1-Mexico official: G20 deputies to consider action on food prices

Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:11pm IST

* G20 deputies to discuss need for food price action

* Meeting planned in Mexico City Sept. 23-24

MEXICO CITY, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Group of 20 officials will consider whether there is a need for action to combat high global food prices at their upcoming meeting this month, a senior Mexican finance ministry official said on Tuesday.

A rise in global food prices after a U.S. drought devastated crops and a fall in Russian wheat supplies has sparked concern about a repeat of the food crisis of 2008. Officials from the G20, which is chaired by Mexico this year, have already held a teleconference to discuss the problem.

Deputies from G20 finance ministries and central banks meet in Mexico City on Sept. 23-24. Mexican Finance Ministry Chief Economist Miguel Messmacher said food prices would be one of the topics under discussion.

"There will be a discussion of whether there needs to be additional action but this discussion has not taken place yet," he said.

A farming official from No. 2 soy grower Brazil said last week G20 nations must avoid grains export limits and panic buying to avoid exacerbating shortages and price spikes.

A meeting of the G20 Rapid Response Forum, created under the French presidency last year to respond to abnormal food market conditions, is expected in October.

Messmacher said the global economic outlook was improving, with "good news" from Europe over the last few months.

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