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Food shoppers in South Korea, Mexico and Japan are fueling a surge in U.S. beef prices just as demand is set to reach a seasonal peak this month...
There are signs that consumers are balking at the higher prices. Retail sales of beef fell 4.2 percent in the 52 weeks ended March 27, as average prices jumped 7.4 percent
Five years ago, China bought hardly any pecans. In 2009, China bought one-quarter of the U.S. crop, and there's no sign demand is abating.
"What's changed in our business?" asks second-generation pecan merchant and sheller George Martin, president of Navarro Pecan Co. in Corsicana, Texas. "The Chinese entered…and they have been getting bigger and bigger and bigger."
While China's appetite for pecans has been a windfall for growers, it poses a challenge for pecan shellers—the middlemen who separate nut from shell and then sell the insides to food companies, grocery stories and direct to consumers.
For some shellers, the trouble is simply getting the nuts they need before the Chinese buy them.
For bakers and ice cream makers, it's all pain. "It's certainly not very pleasant," says Bob McNutt, president of Collin Street Bakers...
Prices of the pecans he buys are 50% higher than any previous peak. Customers, he says delicately, "are not going to be willing...to participate in absorbing the cost."
China's booming economy is making increasing demands on the world's natural resources and heightening competition with other nations...
Fisher questioned whether there will be enough iron ore to meet the global demand this year and said China will pay more to meet its needs.
"You'll see China coming to the table more voraciously,"
But China will provide stiff competition for industrialized Western economies as it strives to maintain its growth...
"The Chinese are traders. The Chinese will import as much as they can take, if the price is right...
Starbucks Corp. is raising the cost of its packaged coffee sold in its U.S. retail stores by an average of 17 percent, its first such increase since 2009, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
Starbucks is the latest coffee company to hike prices...
The rise in coffee prices also has roots in the economic growth of China, where an upwardly mobile work force is fueling demand.
middle-class Indians are a powerful market abroad, now outspending Americans in London, for example, by 10 percent.
In just one example of the rising clout of this new global middle class, in a mere seven years China has gone from buying 1 General Motors car for every 10 sold in the US to becoming the American automaker's biggest customer – not to mention becoming a big competitor at the gas pumps.
That presents opportunities both for local entrepreneurs and multinationals – and could change the products available to the West.
Around two thirds of the oil used in the United States is imported. Now, something is done to offset this energy trade imbalance ever so slightly: Ethanol, the stuff that is supposed to save the U.S. from foreign oil dependency is shipped out of the country.
Who buys it? Brazil, the land where cars drink alcohol to drive. Demand in Brazil is growing at a 5-10 percent annual pace.
Beef ranchers in the United States have honed the characteristics of some robust and meaty breeds of cattle such as Angus and Hereford. But because of trade restrictions, ranchers cannot always export frozen meat from the animals.
They can, though, send breeding bulls and heifers on exotic international journeys from ranches in the Midwest to places like Russia, where they are encouraged to prosper and propagate,
The same bulls that Mr. Stevenson could sell back home for $4,000 a head can fetch about $8,000 in cattle-deprived Russia, he said.