It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
The Food Price Index, which monitors average monthly price changes for a variety of key staples, rose to 236 points in February from 231 points in January, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
It was the highest level since FAO began monitoring prices in 1990.
"Unexpected oil price spikes could further exacerbate an already precarious situation in food markets," David Hallam, director of the Rome-based FAO's trade and market division, said.
"This adds even more uncertainty concerning the price outlook just as plantings for crops in some of the major growing regi
Things to Watch:
Consumers have seen the effects of price hikes on individual products, and many American companies have indicated higher prices lie ahead. Grocery stores from Winn-Dixie to SuperValu have already confirmed such expectations. We can anticipate higher prices for staples, such as sugar, butter, oats and oranges, as well as foods that contain these items and the commodities previously identified. (The futures markets can seem daunting, but these explanations and strategies will help you trade like a pro. Check out Tips For Getting Into Futures Trading.)
The rising trend in oil prices is also concerning, since it directly impacts the cost of planting and harvesting. Beyond that, transportation costs from the farm to distribution centers and retailers will add more fuel to cost escalation. The monetary policies of both the E.U. and U.S. are likely to cause more inflation as debt levels continue to rise on both sides of the Atlantic.
Corn shot up 69% last year, as production in the U.S. dropped 4.9% due to unfavorable weather conditions. This will leave inventories in the U.S. at their lowest level in 15 years, while world inventories of 127 million tons are at four-year lows. A combination of unusually heavy rains and high heat across the Midwest forced the USDA to drop yield estimates and resulted in spikes in commodity prices. Corn has also been diverted to the production of ethanol as a fuel source, putting more upward pressure on prices. The impact of any price increase in corn is wide-ranging, since it is used in so many different food items, as well as a primary source of livestock feed. Some of those products include: cereals, fruit drinks, ice cream, soups, syrups, beer, cakes, tortillas, breads and lunch meats.
Wheat Wheat jumped 47% during a year when the winter wheat acreage was the smallest since 1913. Surging worldwide demand and bad weather have both contributed to reductions in yield estimates. Russia's wheat fields were devastated by drought while too much rain, and flooding hurt production in Canada and Australia. According to the USDA, wheat inventories in the U.S. are estimated to be 16% lower than a year ago.
Soybeans After a record harvest in 2009, U.S. soybean production fell in 2010 and helped fuel a 44% increase in prices. The tightness in supply has resulted in a 25 million bushel drop in estimated inventories before this year's harvest. Argentina, another large producer, experienced relatively dry conditions that hurt production. Food products containing soybeans include: tofu, sausage, ice cream, vegetable oil, candy, baby food, peanut butter, salad dressing, margarine, sauces and vegetable shortening.
I believe that over the next 10 years, we're going to see a profound shift toward a world in which several currencies compete for dominance.
"Unexpected oil price spikes could further exacerbate an already precarious situation in food markets,"