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The article was talking about the IMPACT of soaring prices ON DEVELOPING countries!
Originally posted by crimvelvet:
You can not leave the USA out of the discussion. The USA produces about 25% of the worlds grain.
In round numbers, U.S. farmers produce about $100 billion worth of crops and about $100 billion worth of livestock each year...
Corn: The United States is, by far, the largest producer of corn in the world... In 2000, the U.S. produced almost ten billion bushels of the world’s total 23 billion bushel crop...
... about eighty percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production. About 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends up in foods... It also has a wide array of industrial uses including ethanol, a popular oxygenate in cleaner burning auto fuels.
Soybeans: ...Over 350,000 farms in the United States produce soybeans, accounting for over 50% of the world’s soybean production and $6.66 billion in soybean and product exports in 2000. Soybeans represented 56 percent of world oilseed production in 2000.
Wheat: ... The U.S. produces about 13% of the world’s wheat and supplies about 25% of the world’s wheat export market...
Cotton: ..Cotton is grown from coast-to-coast, but in only 17 southern states. Farms in those states produce over 20% of the world’s cotton....
Rice:... farms are concentrated in six states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. U.S. rice production accounts for just over 1% of the world’s total, but this country is the second leading rice exporter with 18% of the world market. www.epa.gov...
Higher oil prices are also pushing up the cost of food
The added shipping cost raises the delivered price of agricultural products.
Higher oil prices also divert more crops like corn and soybeans to biofuel production, further tightening supplies for livestock feed and human consumption. Conley estimates that more than a third of the corn produced in the U.S is now used to make ethanol.
Despite tightening supplies, the rise in food prices has been much tamer in the developed world
On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that food prices at the consumer level rose just one-tenth of one percent. On Thursday, the government reported that the food component of the Producer Price Index rose just 0.8 percent in December. For all of 2010, food prices at the producer level rose 3.5 percent
The reason for the modest price rise in the U.S.? People living in developed countries eat more processed foods, so raw materials make up a much smaller portion of the total retail cost.
"In this country, a much higher proportion of your food dollar is spent on processing, advertising and promotion and marketing," said Tom Jackson, a senior economist with Global Insight. "There’s not really that margin built in between the farmer and the consumer in the developing countries."
Food price spikes hit less-developed countries much harder because a greater share of per capita income — half or more — goes to pay for food. U.S. consumers, on the other hand, spend an average of about 13 percent of disposable income on food.
strong global demand and tight supplies are bringing misery to some poor countries, the price surge is a sign of improving conditions in emerging economies. That’s because increased demand is caused in part to rapidly rising standards of living, according to David Malpass, president of economic research firm Encima Global.
In "World on the Edge", Brown paints a grim picture of how a failed harvest could spark a grain shortage that would send food prices sky-rocketing, cause hunger to spread, governments to collapse and states to fail.
Food riots would erupt in low-income countries and "with confidence in the world grain market shattered, the global economy could start to unravel," Brown warned.
But Brown still believes civilizational collapse can be averted, if there is a mass effort to confront threats such as global warming, soil erosion and falling water tables, not military superpowers
Word is, four industry trade groups -- United Egg Producers, United Egg Association, United States Egg Marketers and the Missouri Egg Council -- conspired to manipulate supply to increase demand, thereby falsely inflating the price of eggs in the U.S. The prominent egg producers include Land O'Lakes, Cal-Maine Foods, Hillandale Farms and Ohio Fresh Eggs, among 14 others, according to a press release sent out by prosecuting firm Stueve Siegel Hanson, representing Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc, among six others.
In order to cut down on supply, producers allegedly agreed to kill off hens, which resulted in at least a 40 percent increase in egg prices in 2008, reports the L.A. Times from the following civil complaint filed by Sodexo Inc. The trade groups also increased exports (to further dwindle U.S. supply) and reduced the number of hens per cage, which they marketed as a move towards animal health. That's just wrong.