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Food costs push up Asia inflation

The rising cost of food is driving Asian inflation rates higher, increasing the stakes for a successful harvest this year in a region still bruised by the 2008 food crisis.

Prices for rice, sugar, milk, and in some places, fruits, vegetables and cooking oils, have risen in recent months, putting pressure on overall consumer prices. The region’s most important economies, including India, China, Thailand and Indonesia, are all grappling with how to handle rising prices without snuffing out their economic rebounds. Food-price increases are leading to higher inflation rates across much of Asia, though energy costs and tighter labour markets are also putting pressure on prices.