Food prices are likely to stay high for the next two to three years until stocks are replenished, the United Nations food agency said today (15 May).

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told politicians in Canada that prices should ease as stocks build again, according to a Reuters report.

FAO commodities economist Abdolreza Abbassian said below-average yields and drought had been a more significant factor in rising grain prices than corn being diverted to biofuels.

However, Canada is mulling plans for petrol to contain at least 5% ethanol, Reuters said, and Abbassian said the country's government may have to consider importing corn to support the policy and its food industry.