FAO Sees Record World Food Prices Staying

HOLLY NOTE: We have posted articles continuously for the past several months detailing depletion of US and global grain reserves to record lows, grain thefts in Kansas, food shortages, rising food prices and resulting food riots, in hopes that you are getting this message: As tough as it might be right now, this is definitely the time to purchase significant food stocks. Consider taking Pres. Bush's $800/person rebate and invest it in food storage instead of blowing it.

When reading news articles, it is our hope you'll read beyond the headlines and hear the unspoken message - a quiet urging to prepare.

The Midwest is at the heart of our wheat and corn production. All it will take is one bad drought - which Iowa expects - and our food supplies will take a serious hit. As a result, prices would skyrocket even further. Shortages are already showing up in certain parts of the country and around the world. Check this email:

I wanted to write and let you know about my shopping experience today. I live near Hickory, NC, a city of 37,000. My home burned in October and I am literally having to start over from scratch. I have been back online for only a few weeks but heard you urging folks to get food NOW. I decided to take the day off and do just that. WOW, was I shocked. I used to go buy in bulk at Aldi with no problem. Today, I had a hard time finding enough of the items I wanted. Some items were not in stock at all. I almost took every can in the store of certain soups and fruits. Then went to another grocery store to stock up on green beans and corn. Same story, I just about took every can on the shelves. It wasn't that I bought so very much, it was that there was so very little stock on the shelves. It reminded me of hearing you say, "There will come a day when a person will have money to buy the items, but there will be none to buy." I hope people will hear this and "WAKE UP." This is very serious!

Blessings
Chris

To help with your food storage, please download the Deyo Food Storage Planner which works in Excel for Mac or Windows. It's FREE software and is available in either US measurements or metric.

Stock up heavily now - buy in bulk - and pack for long-term storage any grain products and foods you regularly consume. It's easy, it's great insurance and will save you loads of money in the long run. The longer you delay, prices are only going to escalate, your options will dwindle, along with selection.

Procrastination is our favorite form of self-sabotage. — Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby, American author





January 21 2008
By Robin Pomeroy
Reuters

ROME, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Record food prices are unlikely to ease in the foreseeable future, as high grain demand and low stocks mean the world remains vulnerable to possible food shocks, a United Nations expert said on Monday.

Efforts to increase wheat output may not be enough to offset soaring demand and bring the cereal off the all-time price highs it is continuing to hit, said Abdolreza Abbassian, grains economist at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

"The wheat story is far from over," Abbassian told Reuters in an interview.

He said that if there is the slightest weather problem next year in any major producing country or in any major developing country importer that also produces, such as China or India, wheat prices will soar again.

With global stocks low, a major weather disaster would push the world into real food shortages, he added.

"We have been very careful with this term 'world food crisis'. There are crises but there's not a world food crisis."

Demand from increasingly affluent Asian giants China and India and a crop shortfall in Australia were among the factors which pushed wheat to record prices last year, up as much as 65 percent year-on year, according to the FAO.

Rising food inflation is not limited to grains; meat and dairy prices have also soared on rising demand and the increase cost of fodder.

Higher shipping costs and market speculation have also contributed to price surges which have pushed up grocery bills around the world and sparked protests.

The European Union's decision to suspend its 'set-aside' policy where farmers had to leave at least 10 percent of their land fallow, may bring some relief, but not make a huge impact.

"EU sources are saying there is some increase but probably not as much as they hoped for," Abbassian said, adding that FAO was now less optimistic for increased 2008 wheat production than it had been in its last Food Outlook report, issued in November.

"From what we said in November, which was based on (political) decisions, to what we see today, which is more or less based on the planting record, it looks like wheat production, if it increases, is not going to increase enough to bring prices down substantially."

The demand for bio-fuels in Europe and the United States will also continue to pressure prices of maize and soya.

The United States, which exports around two thirds of the world's traded maize, already last year increased the area under maize cultivation by 18 percent, at least in part to meet the demand for bio-ethanol, used as a fuel in automobiles.

"If the U.S. wants to meet the same demand this year it has to maintain that sort of performance -- which means it may have to plant less of other crops. This is why soya bean markets are reacting rather violently to developments." (Reporting by Robin Pomeroy, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7243655