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Posts tagged “food prices”

By Robert Rapier on Jan 19, 2008 with no responses

The NYT on Food versus Fuel

The New York Times weighed in today with an article on the food versus fuel issue, with emphasis on what’s going on in the 3rd world: An Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel, Costly Calories Definitely worth a read. Some excerpts: KUANTAN, Malaysia — Rising prices for cooking oil are forcing residents of Asia’s largest slum, in Mumbai, India, to ration every drop. Bakeries in the United States are fretting over higher shortening costs. And here in Malaysia, brand-new factories built to convert vegetable oil into diesel sit idle, their owners unable to afford the raw material. This is the other oil shock. From India to Indiana, shortages and soaring prices for palm oil, soybean oil and many other types of vegetable… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 15, 2008 with no responses

Corn Futures Behaving as Expected

Last May, in The Mythical Ethanol Threat, I discussed the massive overbuilding that was going on in the ethanol sector. I knew that it would squeeze margins, but that would also put the pressure on politicians to increase the mandates (which they have now done). In that essay, I wrote: “Note to self: Corn futures to double again by 2009.” I wasn’t actually joking, and they are well on their way: Corn Soars to Record as Demand for Feed, Fuel May Exceed Output Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — Corn rose to the highest ever in Chicago, gaining the maximum permitted by the exchange, on speculation that global demand for feed and biofuel will exceed production for the seventh time in the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 22, 2007 with no responses

My Top 10 Energy Stories of 2007

First, thanks to all who contributed ideas. You may have an entirely different opinion on the most important energy stories. Feel free to share it. Many of these stories were contributed by various readers. Comments by readers are italicized. If you want to know who wrote what, you can see the entire comment thread here. Here are my Top 10 Energy Stories of 2007 1. Oil price soars as media becomes Peak Oil aware One reason I felt pretty safe in making the $1,000 bet on oil prices is that a move from $60 – the price in January – to $100 – the price at which I would lose the bet – would be unprecedented. Of course a worldwide… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 19, 2007 with no responses

Ethanol in the News

There were several ethanol stories in the news today. It was a mixed bag. From BusinessWeek: Ethanol’s Growing List of Enemies Paul Hitch has spent his entire life raising cattle and hogs on a stretch of the Oklahoma panhandle he says is “flat as a billiard table.” But he worries that they’ll face mounting pressures in the industry, particularly because of the soaring price for corn, which the business depends on to feed the livestock. In the past year, corn prices have doubled as demand from ethanol producers has surged. “This ethanol binge is insane,” says Hitch, who’s president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. (NCBA). “This talk about energy independence and wrapping yourself in the flag and singing God… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 15, 2007 with no responses

Energy Heating Up Inflation

I am not quite sure why this was a surprise: Producer prices unexpectedly jump 1.3% There were two major culprits identified: Energy and food. However, the food component was also related to energy: Food prices rose 1.9%, as prices for unprocessed foods rose 11.2%. Fresh fruit prices rose 15.7% and fresh vegetable prices rose 8.3%. Pasta prices rose 4.3%, the most in 11 years. Food prices have been rising rapidly, in part in response to the diversion of corn into the ethanol market as a substitute for gasoline. Food prices have now risen more than 1% for three months in a row and are running at an annualized rate of 18.1% in that time. Other than a spike in 2004… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 4, 2007 with no responses

Distillery Demand for Grain To Fuel Cars Vastly Understated

Earth Policy InstituteEco-Economy UpdateEmbargoed for Release12 pm EST, January 4, 2007 DISTILLERY DEMAND FOR GRAIN TO FUEL CARS VASTLY UNDERSTATED World May Be Facing Highest Grain Prices in History Lester R. Brown www.earthpolicy.org/Updates/2007/Update63.htm Investment in fuel ethanol distilleries has soared since the late-2005 oil price hikes, but data collection in this fast-changing sector has fallen behind. Because of inadequate data collection on the number of new plants under construction, the quantity of grain that will be needed for fuel ethanol distilleries has been vastly understated. Farmers, feeders, food processors, ethanol investors, and grain-importing countries are basing decisions on incomplete data. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects that distilleries will require only 60 million tons of corn from the 2008… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 30, 2006 with no responses

Ethanol Demand Boosting Corn Prices

A new story today from Yahoo News: Ethanol demand boosting corn prices Some excerpts: INDIANAPOLIS – The ethanol industry’s growing appetite for corn has pushed prices for the grain to their highest levels in a decade amid a surge that agricultural experts say could lead farmers next spring to plant their largest corn crop in 60 years. Farmers who plant more corn in 2007, however, will be betting that the nation’s burgeoning ethanol industry won’t go bust and oil prices stay high, keeping up demand for the corn used to make ethanol, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist. With a growing amount of corn being diverted from food products and livestock feed toward ethanol production, per-bushel prices have… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 23, 2006 with no responses

Ethanol, Biodiesel, and Food Prices

The following story from Bloomberg caught my eye today: Ethanol Drives Up Food Commodity Prices Some notable excerpts: Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) — Global ethanol production is driving up prices for food commodities, from feed stocks such as sugar, to meat, said Datagro, Brazil’s biggest sugar-industry forecasting firm. U.S. production, forecast to increase more than 70 percent by 2012, will use 37 percent of the country’s current corn supply to meet output needs, up 15 percent from 2006, Datagro said. Land for soy oilseeds is increasingly being diverted to grow corn, reducing soy supply and driving up animal feed prices, according to the company. In China, competing demand for corn from the food and ethanol industries may lead the country to… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 20, 2006 with no responses

Gas Prices, Gouging, and Food versus Fuel

A few newsworthy items to cover: Gas prices, gas gouging legislation, and food versus fuel. Gas Prices on the Rise Surprise! It seems that gas prices are rising: Gas prices on the rise again, analyst reports Gas prices are on the rise again, just as Americans hit the highways for Thanksgiving. Gas prices rose about 5 cents per gallon nationwide compared to two weeks ago, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday. Of course if you read this blog, you knew this was coming. I have made this case in two recent essays, and I have been saying this at The Oil Drum for about a month: A Case Study in Cluelessness This Week in Petroleum 11-15-06 Gasoline inventories are being… Continue»