The latest round of price hike in raw foods serves a big blow to Sibuians at the start of 2008. On the pipeline is naturally going to be a wide spectrum of consumer product pricing.
Sibuians are not alone hard-hit by this global phenomenon. This wind of increase sweeps across all nations, giving strain to worldwide consumers.
Price surge is primarily a reaction to fundamental shift in crop usage - from that of human consumption to that of biofuel production. Last year (2007) biofuels took a third of America's (record) maize harvest. That affected food markets directly: fill up an SUV's fuel tank with ethanol and you have used enough maize to feed a person for a year. And it affected them indirectly, as farmers switched to maize from other crops.
The 30m tonnes of extra maize going to ethanol in 2007 amounts to half of the fall in the world's overall grain stocks. That squarely explains the hike as market forces work to force it up.
This world phenomenon is just not yet over. In 2008, my dear Sibuians, you are going to get more nips!