Skip to comments.Food Crisis Doomsday Scenario As Prices To Shoot Through The Roof
Posted on 08/31/2010 11:49:11 AM PDT by blam
Food Crisis Doomsday Scenario As Prices To Shoot Through The Roof
Politics / Food Crisis
Aug 31, 2010 - 08:52 AM
The worst weather on record coupled with the practice of speculation in the commodities markets are set to send food prices skyrocketing, bringing misery and starvation to large swathes of the worlds population. Are we set to see food riots this winter?
In the USA, Walmart has already announced a price hike of 5.8% on average for a 31-item basic basket for this Autumn. The long-term rise, however, is far more frightening, with the UNO predicting an increase of 60 per cent by 2030.
What is happening?
When there is a massive price spike, such as the case in recent years, followed by more price rises (as is the case today) the markets panic and speculative buying sends the prices through the roof. The market economy system is indeed not all about supply and demand but is also, and fundamentally, fuelled by speculative trading, with spot buyers buying future positions of commodities. When they are scarce, and the more so when the market senses that a scarcity exists, the price goes up.
This is what is happening today. September corn is up by 3.6% a bushel, wheat by 34 cents. In July the price of wheat shot up by the highest quantity in the last 50 years: 42 per cent. This in turn will push up prices of pasta, bread and cereals in the near future.
Prices set to rise for 12 to 18 months
Analysts predict upward trends in wheat, corn, soybeans, bean oil and bean meal and the general feeling is a continued rising trend over the next 12 to 18 months. As usual, no mechanisms have been activated to protect the worlds poorer populations from the dramatic effects of supply issues and the resulting speculation in prices.
Global production downturn
Russia reports a drop in production of around 20 per cent due to dry weather conditions. Drought has also affected Ukraine (where maximum production is set to reach just 66% of domestic demand) and Kazakhstan, while floods have affected 13 million acres of cereals in Canada and have wiped out a large part of Chinas harvest. Germanys wheat production is ten to twenty per cent down on 2009; in Argentina dry conditions mean that only 80% of the arable land for cereals has been planted.
The S word: Speculation
In todays market economy system, what drives the prices is not only supply and demand but also the S word: Speculation, where a handful of players push prices sky high and way beyond the reaches of the pockets of the average consumer. If the system were based upon supply and demand then the price of soybean would be bearish (top-down attack, falling), because the main producers (Brazil, Argentina and the USA), have had a good harvest. Then why is the price of soybean bullish (bottom-up attack, rising)?
Because cash premiums are forcing the soybean futures rates higher as a process of over-consumption of soybean is noticed in the marketplace (soybean is present these days in most foodstuffs and other consumable items). So much so, that the price of soybean would have to rise a further 50 to 80% to curb the current demand.
And it makes sense for this to happen and that is going to affect the price of everything we eat.
Couple this with the rising cost of transportation (crude and natural gas prices are set to rise from September) and we see our comfortable little monetarist-oriented market economy system has engendered another fine crisis looming on the horizon. Watch this space.
Vast swathes of the planet are set to go hungry. Those who were previously hungry may starve. It is the Doomsday Scenario and it is upon us. And it is caused not by the lack of supply or scarcity of abundance. It is caused by this manic, inhumane system, the S-word, Speculation.
I notice one of our two grocery stores here has started offering a good price on items only if you buy ten of whatever it is.
That's some food for thought.
Just what the unemployed were looking for high food prices. Expect to see in rise in food stamps use by illegals and Obama sueing states that try to cut them off.
guess this guy was right : Jim Rogers/Asian Financial Forum (World Commodities fundamentals enhanced), January 24, 2009
Most people don't even know where to look for that price though. It is on a tag of the shelf the product is on. Takes all the guess work and figuring the lower priced product.
“Food prices, including fast food, seem really high.”
I’m actually amazed that you can get a McChicken, or a McDouble, or similar hot sandwiches or hot foods for a dollar. It absolutely blows my mind.
Then again I am also impressed that I can send a letter anywhere in the U.S. for 44 cents. That is incredible to me.
1) H1N1 killed off most would-be starvation victims during the last panic attack.
2) In a pinch, Muslims are a great source of protein.
3) Obesity and famine are never found in the same populace.
4) Oil and wine are forecast to be available right up until the Rapture, possibly longer.
5) Somebody, somewhere will be forced to eat Rosie O'Donnel.
6) Richard Simmons will finally have no reason to sweat to anything.
7) The George Foreman Grill in your closet will become a sought-after fat collector.
8) Zombie movies will become an enjoyable fantasy escape from the daily drudgery of scavenging food among the mindless cannibal hordes roaming around outside.
9) Nobody's wife will look fat in anything.
10) Michelle Obama will have no new proposals involving federalizing your children.
For larger families that may be good but on other things if I buy 10, that takes a chunk of the budget and limits the variety of one’s meals. I find that I’m spending roughly the same amount of money now on food for just myself as I spent when I had 2 always hungry teenagers, packed lunches and rarely went out to eat. Tried to get my neighbor’s to form a small co-op purchase program with no luck thus far.
Im spending all my money on canned spam.
You used to (12 to 18 months ago..) be able to buy the Hormel version of SPAM in the dollar store ,, now it’s $1.79 at the cheapest place I know and genuine SPAM is $2.39 or higher ... buying SPAM may be the investment of choice in 2011.
Yes- buying ten of anything at a time is good for someone with alot of family still home, not so good for any one else. Which is the whole idea- they can say but we have great sales, knowing most people are not going to do that buying.
My response to that almost guaranteed is not to buy whatever it is, period. The price cut is always substantial so that means unless it is something I really need (not going to happen) I just walk right on past.
I would do a co-op with someone if I had the option but I don’t have. I do garden and put up food.
We are going to need to know how to be conservative with buying, and certainly people in general are going to have to learn to live within their means (under their means, actually) or they are going to be in a world of hurt.
I grew up in a farm and whatever we raised or grew, we ate. Hated weeding that 2 acre garden and summer as a kid was not fun having to spend time picking, snapping, pealing, canning and preserving. But would love to have that garden space now. Funny what a difference 50 years will make!