The mid-2000s marked the start of a trend of steeply rising commodity prices, accompanied by increasing volatility. The prices of a wide range of commodities reached historic highs in nominal terms in 2008 before falling sharply in the wake of the financial and economic crisis. Since mid-2009, and especially since the summer of 2010, global commodity prices have been rising again. These developments coincide with major shifts in commodity market fundamentals, particularly in emerging economies which are experiencing fast growth, increasing urbanization and a growing middle class with changing dietary habits, including an increasing appetite for meat and dairy products. In addition, in an attempt to reduce the use of fossil fuels in energy consumption, a range of food crops are now being used in the production of biofuels, which is being promoted in a number of countries including those of the European Union (EU) as well as the United States. The related conversion of land use from crops for food to crops for biofuel production has also affected the prices of food crops. At the same time, a decline in the growth rates of production and productivity, partly due to the adverse effects of climate change, has adversely affected the supply of agricultural commodities.