The high food prices experienced over recent years have led to the widespread view that food price volatility has increased. However, volatility has generally been lower over the two most recent decades than previously. Variability over the most recent period has been high but, with the important exception of rice, not out of line with historical experience. There is weak evidence that the volatility of grains and vegetable oils prices may be increasing but it is too early to make a definite statement. mportant open issues remain with respect to biofuels, climate change, and the possible effects of the financialization of agricultural food markets.