Sunday, September 9, 2012

Food Prices and Disorder Update

Eckelad, M. (2012, Sep 4). Beef Prices Balloon as Her thins. The Wall Street Journal, C4

[Excerpted] “the nation’s total cattle herd has shrunk to its lowest level in 60 years”
“Dry weather since 2011 has made it difficult for ranchers to keep cattle on the range. The drought has parched pastures and curbed corn, hay, and soybean production, driving up the price of feed. Last year, ranchers sold more animals than normal to slaughterhouses rather than pay the high cost to feed them” 

Haddon, J. & Emsden, C. (2012, Sep 5) UN Calls for Measures to Avert a Food Crisis. The Wall Street Journal, p. A12

[Excerpted] “Urgent action is needed to ensure rising world food prices don’t turn into a catastrophe, the United Nations said Tuesday… 

 Summer droughts have scorched crops across the globe, causing sharp increases in the price of corn, wheat and soybeans, and raising fears of a repeat of the 2007-08 world food crisis…  

“Last week, the World Bank said world food prices jumped 10% in July, as U.S. corn and soybean production suffered in a record-breaking drought. Similar conditions in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan have taken a toll on wheat production. 

Now food prices are expected to remain elevated for the foreseeable future…"

Majia here: Some evil speculators see looming food shortages as an opportunity for enrichment:

Barclays makes £500m betting on food crisis. The Independent. By Tom Bawden. Sep 1, 2012:

[Excerpted] Outrage as bank revealed to be major speculator while millions face starvation. Barclays has made as much as half a billion pounds in two years from speculating on food staples such as wheat and soya, prompting allegations that banks are profiting handsomely from the global food crisis. 

Barclays is the UK bank with the greatest involvement in food commodity trading and is one of the three biggest global players, along with the US banking giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, research from the World Development Movement points out.... 

Barclays Capital analysts admitted in a note to clients in February that speculation did push up prices. Barclays said: "The second key driver is that commodity investors have begun allocating to commodities again after beginning 2012 heavily underexposed to the sector." The other drivers were the "health of the global economy" and "weather and geopolitics"....

Hat tip: Max Keiser:


See Perfect Storm Brewing

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