Posts Tagged ‘storage food | Tagged commodities’

Hunger crisis worsens, food system broken: Oxfam | Reuters

Hunger crisis worsens, food system broken: Oxfam | Reuters.

World Food Prices Rise to Near-Record High as Inflation Speeds Up, UN Says

By Rudy Ruitenberg – May 5, 2011 6:44 AM ET

Corn has almost doubled in the past 12 months. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

World food prices rose to near a record in April as grain costs advanced, adding pressure to inflation that is accelerating from Beijing to Brasilia and spurring central banks to raise interest rates.

An index of 55 commodities rose to 232.1 points from 231 points in March, the United Nations’ Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report on its website today. The gauge climbed to an all-time high of 237.2 in February before dropping 2.6 percent in March.

The cost of living in the U.S. rose at its fastest pace since December 2009 in the 12 months ended in March, the same month in which Chinese consumer prices rose by the most since 2008. The European Central Bank raised interest rates on April 7, joining ChinaIndia, Poland and Sweden in a bid to control inflation partly blamed on food costs. Costlier food also contributed to riots across northern Africa and the Middle East that toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia this year.

“There seems to be some easing for a lot of commodities, but whether this is demand rationing, we have to wait and see,” Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the FAO, said before the report. “If the weather is good, if plantings expand, I think we could see some relief in food prices.”

Sugar prices slumped 18 percent in New York last month, while milk futures fell 1.8 percent inChicago, U.S. wholesale beef prices dropped 3.4 percent and pork declined 2.2 percent. Wheat prices rose 5 percent in Chicago after falling the previous two months and corn jumped 9.1 percent.

Start Your Food Storage Program Today With The Best!

Corn Planting

Corn has almost doubled in the past 12 months on speculation that more planting in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, won’t be sufficient to rebuild global stocks. Wheat surged 57 percent over the same period and soybeans gained 39 percent as flooding ruined crops in Canada and Australia and drought reduced harvests in Russia and Europe.

Of the grains, corn “is the most worrisome,” Abbassian said in a statement. “We would need above-average, if not record, yields in the U.S.,” however, “plantings so far have been delayed considerably due to cool and wet conditions on the ground,” he said.

The FAO’s gauge of grain prices, which account for 27 percent of the overall index, jumped to its highest level since June 2008, advancing to 265.1 points in April from 251.2 the previous month.

Dry Weather

World grain stocks will probably slide for a second year in the 12 months through June 2012 as corn consumption outpaces production and dry weather hurts wheat prospects in the U.S. and the European Union, the International Grains Council said in a report April 20.

“With demand continuing strongly, prospects for a return to more normal prices hinge largely on how much production will increase and how much grain reserves are replenished in the new season,” David Hallam, the director of FAO’s Trade and Market division, said in a statement.

The FAO’s food-price index fell for eight months in a row after reaching its previous peak in June 2008, a situation that probably won’t be repeated this year, Concepcion Calpe, an economist at the UN agency, said last month. “Very strong” demand for food, feed and biofuel may mean prices will climb in coming months, she said.

Meat Prices

The index of meat prices, which make up 35 percent of the overall index, was little changed at 172.8, up 0.5 percentage point from the March level.

The FAO index of sugar prices fell to 347.8 points, the lowest level in seven months, from 372.3 in March. Cooking-oil prices slipped to 259.1 points in April from 259.9, while the dairy index fell to 228.7 from 234.4 in March.

Food output will have to climb by 70 percent from 2010 to 2050 as the world population swells to 9 billion and rising incomes boost meat and dairy consumption, the FAO forecasts. Producing 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of pork can take 3.5 kilograms of feed, U.S. Department of Agriculturedata shows.

About 44 million people have been pushed into poverty since June by the “dangerous levels” of food prices, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in February. Another 10 million may join them should the UN food index rise another 10 percent, the World Bank said April 16. The number of hungry people in the world globally declined last year to 925 million from more than 1 billion in 2009, according to the FAO.

“A sliding dollar and increased oil prices are contributing to high food-commodity prices,” Hallam said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

35 Facts That Show Just How Much The Average American Has Been Destroyed By This Economy

35 Facts That Show Just How Much The Average American Has Been Destroyed By This Economy.

Impending Crisis: Earth to Run Out of Food by 2050?

by Lila Cagnasso on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 7:22pm

Is the earth running out of food? That’s what scientists warned if the world leaders don’t act now and negotiate food security policies at this week’s Climate Change talks in Cancun, reports the New Zealand Herald.

In a new book, The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It, Professor Julian Cribb argues a catastrophic global food shortage will hit by mid-century. His predictions paint a glum picture of the perfect storm that could threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people: Populations will grow to 9.2 billion by 2050 and in turn double today’s global food requirement and outstrip growth in food output. Combined with unpredictable extreme weather patterns, droughts will haunt those most vulnerable and lead to crop failures, food riots and war. Food prices will inevitably spike with a rising demand for protein foods such as meat, milk, fish and eggs. Growing shortages of water and less productive land to yield crops will further hinder the world’s future food production.

“The world has ignored the ominous constellation of factors that now make feeding humanity sustainably our most pressing task – even in times of economic and climatic crisis,” writes Professor Cribb. But Professor Cribb isn’t the only scientist clamoring for politicians to take climate change seriously. In a recent study by the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, it warned of a potential mass extinction as the number of ocean dead zones – waters starved of oxygen – increase at an accelerating pace. The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research also put out a study that shows the increasing likelihood of frightening changes to rainfall, water supplies, weather systems, sea levels and crop harvests by the end of the century.

With little chance world leaders from 193 countries gathering in Cancun this week will come to any legal agreement, scientists like Cribb warn that the stakes are high, time is running out and it will be both rich and poor countries who will suffer from the long term impact of climate change leaving millions to go hungry by 2050.

THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVELY DISCHARGING ACCUMULATED STRESS AS OUR WORLD MOVES INTO CRISIS

by
Jerry Allen, MFT, MPH, in collaboration with Suzie Gruber, MA, SEP
© Copyright 2011 Jerry Allen, MFT, MPH, all rights reserved

”][/caption

April 1, 2011, Sebastopol, CA – Here is a piece written by my colleague, Jerry Allen, emphasizing once again the need for inner preparation in the face of collapse. Jerry has worked in Child Protective Services here in Sonoma County for twenty-one years, miraculously maintaining a compassionate open heart in the face of constant familial crises, making him well-suited to write on this topic. Emotional preparation is often dismissed as being unimportant, prioritized well-behind physical preparation. At the end of the day we don’t know where we will be when a crisis hits and we can only count on our inner resilience being available at all times. – Suzie Gruber

]Emergency responders value the ability to be cool-headed in a crisis. It takes people with that ability to handle urgent tasks effectively. Yet as we look toward the long emergency of the end of the era of boundless economic growth and the beginning of hard limits, shortages, permanent energy crises, and the decay or collapse of many complex human societal institutions and much of industrial society, a question arises. How can people and communities prepare ourselves emotionally, bodily, spiritually and socially to effectively handle the rigors and stresses coming at us with flexibility, adaptability, love, honor, integrity and kindness?

Some of these values are being seen right now in quake and tsunami ravaged towns in Japan, people reaching out with generous hearts to take care of each other, a very moving, noble example. Some people naturally have that gift of a generous heart. But how can more of us be both effective and adaptable and to be good leaders in our communities, especially in times of crisis? Much of what we face in coming years will be potentially traumatic, with a lot to grieve about the loss of what has been, and much to fear about our unknown future. How can we ready ourselves to move through those experiences and remain balanced, resilient and adaptive?

If we turn to what is known about trauma and trauma recovery, we see that most animals in the wild live with daily life-threatening events, like being chased and nearly eaten. They are able to discharge the highly arousing survival energy and move on to be ready for what comes next. They reset themselves, or re-regulate their nervous systems. Humans have that ability as well. If humans are able to discharge stress and re-regulate our nervous systems during and after crisis events, then accumulated stress in our nervous systems doesn’t build up, so no post-traumatic stress. In human cultures back through the ages, the use of storytelling, dance, song and ritual has served that vital purpose of restoring balance and preparing for action.

In modern culture much of that has been lost. Pioneers such as Peter Levine have articulated the way stress accumulates in humans and developed educational body-based methods to help people quickly unstick themselves when post-traumatic stress has a grip on them. Our bodies are at the heart of such work. Mental work in our heads doesn’t resolve trauma. Body-based work can. Other pioneers are working on re-invigorating the use of dance, story, music, sweats, Aikido, and rituals to the same ends, with a strong body orientation.

Learning to effectively release accumulated stress is not some peripheral process that is needed primarily to treat returning soldiers and victims of abuse, as important as that treatment is. Learning to let go of accumulated stress and discharge new stresses is a vital skill for all of us who are preparing ourselves to face the unknown future. It is as important as doing physical emergency preparations. We have witnessed the chaos, rage and panic that can grip communities when devastating changes happen. When panic hits as someone yells “fire” in a crowded theatre, other voices need to be ready to stand aside and start singing loudly to calm the people and re-direct their energies. Such work has saved hundreds of people from trampling deaths in panicked crowds. If we are still too activated by our own build-up of trauma, we will not be in a position to discharge fast and take quick decisive community initiative.

As we prepare to serve in a helping role among many, it makes sense to train a vibrant cadre of community members on how to cultivate body awareness, let go of stress fast, remobilize our adaptive capacity and be ready for action. It also makes sense to explore and adapt the use of story, song, dance, ritual and whatever works to help our communities come together, heal together and strengthen our joint body for action.

We can do these preparations by making a conscious choice to work on this aspect of emotional, somatic and spiritual wholeness, while we also choose to work on physical community preparation. They go hand in hand.

How do we begin? Step one in each community is engage in dialogue. Find community members with training and experience in Somatic Experiencing trauma recovery or other similar modalities and who have a willingness to offer support groups. Encourage community members to attend. Use the feelings we have as we watch the headlines unfold as a starting place to grieve, discharge, and come into balance together. Inject some of this work into community meetings to widen the experience. Ask community members what support they need and respond. Another step is to devote conscious community intention to re-establish song, dance, story, Aikido and ritual time in community gatherings.

This may feel a little strange to some who are not familiar with the usefulness of such efforts, but keep at it. The relevance will become more obvious as the long emergency plays out.

—————————————

References

Levine, P.A., (2010), “In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.”

Jerry Allen, MFT, MPH is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a master’s degree in public health education, and a certificate from UC Berkeley in financial and investment planning. He spent 8 years in hospital management, developing treatment clinics before training as a psychotherapist. He has spent the past 22 years in public child protective services helping families undergoing abuse, stress, violence and addiction. He holds three black belts in Aikido, and has a lifelong interest in the peaceful resolution of stress and conflict and the development of healthy families and communities.

Suzie GruberM.A., SEP., holds advanced degrees in chemistry & psychology and spent 15 years working in the biotechnology industry before waking up to the reality of peak oil, climate change and economic instability. In response she completely rebuilt her career, becoming an energetic herbalist, a Somatic Experiencing® practitioner and a 5Rhythms® moving meditation teacher. Working one on one with people in person and over the phone, she uses a holistic approach to help her clients restore physical, emotional and spiritual balance, with particular emphasis on working with those on the front lines of societal collapse. You can contact Suzie directly at stardancer260@sonic.net.

Wal-Mart US CEO To America: “Prepare For Serious Inflation”

To those who think that buying food in the corner deli is becoming a luxury, we have five words: you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. U.S. consumers face “serious” inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart’s U.S. operations warned Wednesday talking to USA Today. And if Wal-Mart which is at the very bottom of commoditized consumer retail, and at the very peak of avoiding reexporting of US inflation by way of China is concerned, it may be time to panic, or at least cancel those plane tickets to Zimbabwe, which is soon coming to us.

The world’s largest retailer is working with suppliers to minimize the effect of cost increases and believes its low-cost business model will position it better than its competitors.

Still, inflation is “going to be serious,” Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said during a meeting with USA TODAY’s editorial board. “We’re seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate.”

Along with steep increases in raw material costs, John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, says labor costs in China and fuel costs for transportation are weighing heavily on retailers. He predicts prices will start increasing at all retailers in June.

“Every single retailer has and is paying more for the items they sell, and retailers will be passing some of these costs along,” Long says. “Except for fuel costs, U.S. consumers haven’t seen much in the way of inflation for almost a decade, so a broad-based increase in prices will be unprecedented in recent memory.”

Consumer prices — or the consumer price index — rose 0.5% in February, the most since mid-2009, largely because of surging food and gasoline prices. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose a more modest 0.2%, though that still exceeded estimates.

Add to this the shock that was today’s grains report, and the summer is about to seem like straight out of Harare.

Farmers will struggle to replenish rapidly shrinking U.S. grain stocks this year, despite plans to sow the most land to corn since World War Two and near-record acreage to soybeans, two U.S. government reports showed on Thursday.

Chicago corn prices surged their daily limit, while soybeans and wheat jumped more than 3 percent as traders looked past higher-than-expected figures in the Department of Agriculture’s annual planting survey to focus on inventories, which fell much more than forecast.

The report underscored the fact that U.S. farmers are now reaching the limits of arable land in the world’s biggest crop exporter, with increased corn sowing coming at the expense of soybeans and cotton. The spring wheat crop, while among the biggest in decades, could yet shrink.

Here is why some grain traders made millions today:

This year’s spring planting season in the world’s biggest crop exporter is being watched more closely than ever by countries fearful that further increases in already record-high food prices could stoke unrest.

An analysis of the data based on the acreage estimates and historical yields suggested that the corn harvest could be the largest ever and soybeans the third-largest.

But that would still leave corn inventories at the end of the 2011/12 season at the equivalent of just three-weeks’ supply, and soybeans would dwindle to scarcely 10 days’ cover. Analysts say prices must rise high enough to reduce demand.

“This turns us back to having to ration the corn,” said Charlie Sernatinger, analyst at ABN Amro.

May corn jumped 30 cents to $6.93-1/4 a bushel, hitting the daily exchange limit; options trading suggested further gains to more than $7.15, near the post-2008 peak of $7.35 hit on March 4. Soybeans jumped to over $14.18 and wheat recouped part of its 20 percent slump since mid-February.

As we expected over the weekend, the commodity correction is over, and absent another nuclear explosion (which still will be priced in within minutes) commodities have only one way to from here.

U.S. Farmers Head Into Key Stretch for Harvests – WSJ.com

U.S. Farmers Head Into Key Stretch for Harvests – WSJ.com.

%d bloggers like this: