Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Food Prices Hit Record High......

One can only hope that the very critical price of Rice ( see Chart & Rice Market Monitor ) will stay well below the last "riot" highs from 2008..... UPDATE: Jim Rogers Rotates From Gold To Rice, Sets Foundation For Next Bubble ZH

Man kann nur hoffen das der alles entscheidende Preis für Reis ( siehe Chart & Rice Market Monitor ) weiterhin deutlich unter dem letzten (Unruhe)Hoch aus dem Jahr 2008 bleiben wird....UPDATE: Jim Rogers Rotates From Gold To Rice, Sets Foundation For Next Bubble ZH

The index doesn't measure domestic retail prices, which can be affected by a wide range of factors, including government subsidies. Instead, the index tracks export prices and can still serve as a barometer of what consumers may pay.

Food prices hit a record high last month, surpassing the levels seen during the 2007-08 crisis, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation said on Wednesday.

The Rome-based organisation said the increase did not constitute a crisis. But Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the FAO, acknowledged that the situation was “alarming”. He added: “It will be foolish to assume this is the peak.”

The jump will increase fears about the repetition of the crisis of 2007-2008. However, poor countries have not so far seen the wave of food riots that rocked countries such as Haiti and Bangladesh two years ago, when prices of agricultural commodities jumped.

The increase in food costs will also hit developed economies, with companies from McDonald's to Kraft raising retail prices.

Higher food prices are also boosting overall inflation, which is above the preferred targets of central banks in Europe.

Compare the food CPI problems of the ECB, BOE & FED with the rest of the world.....

Der Rest der Welt kann über die Nahrungsmittelpreisprobleme der EZB, BOE & Fed wohl nur gequält lächeln.....

Please note that the chart above covers only the first 6 Month in 2010....Looking at the monthy price table it should be clear that the real spike happenend since July.....

Der obige Chart wird noch weniger appetitlich wenn man bedenkt das lediglich der Zeitraum bis einschließlich Juni 2010 berücksichtigt ist....Ein Blick auf den Food Price Index zeigt leider das der Löwenanteil des Anstieges im 2. Halbjahr vollzogen worden ist....

H/T FT Alphaville

Probably not an understatement that at least a "small" part of the increase is related to the wisdom of the central banksters around the world..... I´m very sceptical that without "QE" & with "credible" central bankers ( and politicians ) we would face similar headlines.....UPDATE: Speaking of "credible" people Ben Bernanke and the Price of Oil.....Wouldn´t surprise me if way too many on Wall Street & in the numerous "ivory towers" around the world are calling develompents like this "collataral damage"....

Denke es ist keine Untertreibung zu sagen das zumindest ein "kleiner" Anteil des Preisanstieges der geballten Weisheit der weltweiten Notenbänker geschuldet ist..... Ich kann mir nur sehr schwer vorstellen das wir ohne "QE" und mit "glaubwürdigen und vertrauenserweckenden" handelnden Personen ähnliche Schlagzeilen zu verkraften hätten...UPDATE: Da wir gerade von Glaubwüdigkeit gesprochen haben Ben Bernanke and the Price of Oil...Würde mich ebenfalls stark wundern wenn an Wall Street & in den leider reichlich vorhandenen "Elfenbeintürmen" eine solche Entwicklung nicht als "Kollataralschaden" bezeichnet wird.....

Just in time comes the follwoing chart via FT Germany showing the correleation from REAL US rates ( rhs inverted ) & the commodity complex...... And the FED is not alone.....

Passender hätte der folgende Chart der FT Deutschland nicht sein können.....Mit Ausnahme des fehlenden "QE" Hinweises hätte ich den dazugehörigen Bericht nicht besser formulieren können .... Zu allem übel muß man leider feststellen das die FED in Ihrer Politik nicht allein auf weiter Flur steht.....

Real rates in the Euro area & UK....

Realzinsen unter Aufsicht der EZB und der BOE.......

H/T FT Deutschland

H/T FT Deutschland

Back with then original Story..... Weiter mit dem Eröffnungslink.....

The FAO said its food price index, a basket tracking the wholesale cost of commodities such as wheat, corn, rice, oilseeds, dairy products, sugar and meats, jumped last month of 214.7 points – up almost 4.2 per cent from November.

The FAO is drawing comfort from relatively stable prices for rice, one of the two most important cereals for global food security, which remains far below its record high. Rice is the staple of 3bn people in Asia and Africa.

The FAO food index is at its highest since the measure was first calculated in 1990. During the 2007-08 food crisis, the index reached a peak of 213.5 in June 2008

However, the cost of the other critical staple, wheat, is now rising fast on the back of poor harvests.

“This is a high prices situation,” said Mr Abbassian, although he pointed to the fact the costs of cereals – and particularly rice – were below the peaks set in 2007-08.

“Rice and wheat are, from a global food security perspective, the critical agricultural commodities, not sugar, oilseeds or meat,” he said.

The increasing costs of sugar, whose price recently hit a 30-year high, oilseeds and meat are the main reason behind the rise in the FAO food index


The rise of commodity prices makes it likely that the global food import bill will hit a record high in 2011,after topping $1,000bn last year for only the second time. In November, the FAO raised its 2010 forecast to $1,026bn, up almost 15 per cent from 2009 and within a whisker of a record high of $1,031bn set in 2008 during the food crisis.

At least the "food import bill" will provide incentives to withstand or slow down the "competitive devaluation trend".....UPDATE: Asia Fights Inflation With Stronger Currencies
Wenn man überhaupt etwas positives an der Situation erkennen will dann vielleicht das die bedrohlich steigenden Nahrungsmittelpreise den bisher vorherrschenden "Währungskrieg" mit der klaren Tendenz die eigene Währung künstlich niedrig zu halten, wenn auch nicht aufhalten, so doch zumindest verlangsamen könnte.....UPDATE: Asia Fights Inflation With Stronger Currencies
Agricultural commodities prices have surged following a series of crop failures caused by bad weather. The situation was aggravated when top producers such as Russia and Ukraine imposed export restrictions, prompting importers in the Middle East and North Africa to hoard supplies.

I think it´s a safe bet that around the world subsidies & government involvement ( food stamps, price controls, ban on exports etc ) will not "deflate".....

One uselful "involvement" would be to start with the derivatives complex... ;-)

Sicherlich wird weltweit das Thema Subventionen & "Regierungseinmischungen" ( Essensmarken, Preiskontrollen, Exportbeschränkungen usw. ) in den nächsten Jahren häufiger die Schlageilen dominieren....

Eine der wenigen produktiven "Einmischungen" wäre, wenn man sich dem Thema "Derivate & Terminbörsen" mal etwas genauer widmen würde... ;-)UPDATE:

Food production is down, hunger is up and prices are rising / INFOGRAPHIC The Globe And Mail

U.N. Data Notes Sharp Rise in World Food Prices NYT

Needless to say that the NYT & GAM make no reference when it comes to the relation of prices & "sound money" .... ;-)

Überflüssig festzustellen, das es auch die NYT & GAM versäumen zumindest in einem Nebensatz die nicht unwesentliche Korrelation von Preisen und "verantwortungsvoller Geldpolitik" zu erwähnen.... ;-)

Immerhin wunderschön zu sehen das eine Firma wie Monsanto, die bei diesen Nahrungsmittelpreisen eigentlich durch die Decke gehen müßten, noch immer 50% vom Hoch notiert.....Um meine SCHADENFREUDE zu verstehen, muß man sich zwingend Monsanto - mit Gift und Genen ansehen.... Meiner Meinung nach die beste und wichtigste Doku der letzten Jahre über eine Firma die wahrscheinlich über noch bessere Lobbyisten verfügt(te) als alle Banken der Wall Street zusammen ..... ;-)


Youths riot in Algeria over high food prices Associated Press
Riots over rising food prices and chronic unemployment spiraled out from Algeria's capital on Thursday, with youths torching government buildings and shouting "Bring us Sugar

Wednesday's violence started after evening Muslim prayers. It came after price hikes for milk, sugar and flour in recent days, and amid simmering frustration that Algeria's abundant gas-and-oil resources have not translated into broader prosperity.
Food Riots Commence As The Fed's Loose Money Policy Leads To First Violence Of 2011 Zero Hedge

Mann bei Protest gegen teures Essen erschossen Die Welt

Big Picture Agriculture / Lester Brown via Reformed Broker
In the United States, which harvested 416 million tons of grain in 2009, 119 million tons went to ethanol distilleries to produce fuel for cars. That's enough to feed 350 million people for a year.... The combined effect of these three growing demands is stunning: a doubling in the annual growth in world grain consumption from an average of 21 million tons per year in 1990-2005 to 41 million tons per year in 2005-2010. Most of this huge jump is attributable to the orgy of investment in ethanol distilleries in the United States in 2006-2008.
Bond Vigilanties
The reasons behind the ugly scenes in Tunisia are down to a combination of political and economic factors, but at least part of the discontent stems from rising food and energy prices

The problem these countries face is that food and energy prices are a much bigger percentage of an emerging consumer's shopping basket than for a developed consumer's basket. Food and energy therefore carry a much higher weight in domestic consumer price indices within emerging markets, which is something I discussed last year when going over some of the risks to the emerging market story
To an extent, higher food and energy prices are a result of expansionary economic policy in the US combined with a reluctance of emerging market countries (particularly China) to allow their currencies to appreciate versus the US dollar. Would it not be ironic if the very policies that US authorities have pursued to return the US economy to growth then proceed to be the cause of global economic weakness?
Food Stamp Usage Hits New High Of 43.2 Million ZH

It´s safe to say that without similar programs in the G7 countries we would see similar "riots" like in Algeria etc.....

Man muß kein Prophet sein, um zu erkennen das in den G7 Ländern ohne ähnliche Programme längst "ziviler Ungehorsam" wie momentan in Algerien, und demnächst wohl noch deutlich mehr Ländern, zu sehen sein würden....

The food price vulnerability index Citi via FT Alphaville / Tilt

The index has been created by Citigroup and its based on the idea that a country’s central banks are more likely to have to respond to a food price shock if:

1) the consumer price index is sensitive to changes in good prices.

2) growth is strong — the chances of contagion from food prices to core CPI are strongest when demand pressures are in any case robust.

3) Relatively loose monetary policy– on the grounds
that a country already behind-the-curve might have some nasty catching-up to do if a food price shock leads to a surge in inflationary pressures overall.

And China ticks all those boxes.
Back with a vengeance Economist

Russia Imposes Inflation-Driven Price Controls: Will Use Price Caps On "Socially Important" Commodities
Russia has just announced it would proceed with price caps on a variety of foodstuffs, from buckwheat, to potatoes, assorted fruits and vegetables and all other commodities it deems "socially important" accoding to Russian newspaper
Interactive Map Of Recent Food Riots And Price Hikes ZH

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