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France’s Le Foll Sees Need for Stricter Commodity-Future Rules

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Agricultural commodity-futures markets require tighter regulation to avoid a distorted balance between physical and futures trading, said Stephane Le Foll, France’s farm minister.

The food crisis of 2008 showed a need “to be vigilant about the way we allow markets to function, but also how we frame them,” Le Foll said at a grain-industry meeting in Paris today. “We have to be more strict on the framework.”

Le Foll said while there is “always a need” for agricultural futures markets, they should function primarily to provide price-risk coverage for producers and users. A framework is needed to avoid “a blow up of the equilibrium between physical and futures markets,” he said.

World food prices as tracked by the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization have more than doubled in the past decade. The U.S. State Department estimates surging food prices triggered more than 60 riots worldwide from 2007 to 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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