World cereal stocks are expected to drop to a 25-year-low of 405m tonnes for the crop year 2007-8, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation announced this morning (11 April).

This represents a 5% year-on-year drop against the last crop year's already low levels.

Current increased plantings around the world could generate a 2.64% lift in the total world crop to a record 2.164bn tonnes next year, FAO reported.

In the meantime, the agency is appealing for additional funding for programmes to help in poor countries where food can account for 60-80% of disposable income and prices have risen by between US$1.2bn and $1.7bn.