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Sir Neil Shaw, chairman of Tate & Lyle, warned of the imminent threat of world-wide food price inflation as a result of soaring cereals prices. Falling harvests and increased consumption meant no food processor or buyer of food would be unaffected over the next six months, he said. With world stocks of grain at historic lows of around 12 per cent of consumption, the situation was becoming critical. The world would have to rely on a bumper crop from US producers this summer. Tate & Lyle said profits from Staley, its US sugar and starch operation, would be hit this year by a doubling of maize prices.