Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Food Crisis, Repeat Of 2008: Wheat, Corn to Soar

Note how the DBA ETF has risen since June.

Remember the crazy prices of 2008?

50% of Russia's potato crop was lost this year when the worst heatwave for half a century ravaged crops across the Black Sea region. Russia's wheat crisis will continue for a second year. This means that Russia will be buying world stocks.

Wheat prices have already risen 70% since June.

DBA is the most popular ETF. We track all commodity ETfs live here. Also of interest are Teucrium Corn CORN, PowerShares Global Agriculture PAGG, and the Market Vectors Agribusiness MOO.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation's Chief says: "We had hoped things would calm down by September, but they haven't: more commodities are joining in,"

The UN also fears "a repeat of the price spike in 2008 that set off global food riots. Wheat prices are still far below the $13 peak they reached then, and the global stocks to use ratio is still "safe" at 22pc. However, the outlook is darkening". The Telegraph.

"It is not yet a crisis but things are precarious. If there is another bad year in Russia and Ukraine, this will leave us prone to shocks. All it takes then is one piece of bad news," he said.
Chris Weafer, Uralsib's chief economist, said Russia's wheat harvest will be near 60m tonnes this year, far short of the 75m consumed locally. The country has intervention stocks of 9.5m. "We think Russia faces shortfall of 17m tonnes and will have to import next year," he said."

"Moscow has already disrupted grain supplies by imposing an export ban until late 2011, but markets have not discounted the risk of Russia becoming a substantial importer."


"Ominously, a corn crunch is also creeping up on the world. Global stocks are at their lowest level for 37 years, at a stock to use ratio of 13pc. "This is getting extremely tight," said Mr Chandler, questioning whether the US should divert 36pc of its corn crop into ethanol for fuel.
Corn prices have jumped 40pc since June, reaching $5 a bushel. This was first blamed on lower US crop yields due to bad weather, but China has since revealed that it imported a record 432,000 tonnes in August."

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