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FOOD FARE: International food prices rose sharply in July, driven by a spike in grain and sugar prices. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization index climbed 6 percent, although it was well below a peak reached in February 2011.
CORN POPPING: Severe drought gripping the U.S. Midwest has sent corn prices soaring by almost 23 percent, and expectations of worsened crop prospects in Russia because of dry weather sent world wheat prices up 19 percent.
HUNGER PAIN: Price hikes are expected to be felt across the international marketplace, hurting poor food-importing countries, said a study by British charity Oxfam.