I don't care how Machiavellian you are as an investor, this story is not good and I sure hope all consider donating locally to food banks. While the world has over 1 billion people in hunger and the United States has surged past 35 million on food stamps with half of all children at some time being on them, we have these forecasts:
Rice may surge 63 percent to $1,038 a metric ton from $638 on Philippine imports and a shortage in India, a Bloomberg survey of importers, exporters and analysts showed. The U.S. government says nonfat dry milk may jump 39 percent next year, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. forecasts a 25 percent gain for sugar.
Global food costs jumped 7 percent in November, the most since February 2008, four months before reaching a record, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Rice (if any of you bother to shop) has already dramatically increased in price so a 63% jump is devastating to nations where this is a basic staple.
While the article predicts agricultural commodities are great investments for the next 3 to 5 years, considering the 10% unemployment rate and economic desperation for so many people, plus food stamps as they currently are allocated are much too low, this is really bad news.
It appears there are some food staples which have high inventories, including wheat.
Last but not least, an economic reality that one cannot even mention without being named called, rears it's ugly head once again, population growth. This is a startling fact, especially in the face of global warming:
Food output will need to rise 70 percent in the next four decades as the global population expands to 9.1 billion in 2050 from 6.8 billion, the FAO estimates.