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Food inflation worries reignite as U.S. barge prices hit new highs

Surging fertilizer costs add to hunger threat in emerging nations

Drought conditions have caused Mississippi River water levels to drop, triggering barge draft restrictions.

TOKYO -- Global food prices are once again facing upward pressure due to the record cost for shipping grain in the U.S., the source of about 20% of world exports.

It costs $90.45 to transport 1 ton (907 kilograms) of freight from St. Louis, Missouri, to New Orleans, Louisiana, by barge on the Mississippi River, according to an Oct. 6 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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