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« $4 Billion For Global Warming Research In 2011 Budget | Main | Fraud At The Heart Of Social Security: It's Really $76B In the Hole THIS YEAR »
Friday
Jan212011

Video: Neil Cavuto With Craig R. Smith On Food Riots in Algeria & Tunisia - While U.S. Farmers Make Record Profits

Smith discusses whether we'll see similar food shortages and unrest in the U.S.

Video - Jan 14, 2011 - Text from Youtube page - Craig Smith with Neil Cavuto discussing the Tunisian riots over food prices and whether America is headed for the same fate.  US consumer prices have been surging in recent months and some wonder if we are headed for the biggest spike in inflation in our history.  Craig discusses why the tools in our arsenal, traditionally used to fight inflation, will no longer work.

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Food Prices Causing Riots in Africa Stoke Record U.S. Farm Economy Growth

The same record food prices causing riots in Algeria and export bans in India are allowing President Barack Obama to combine the biggest-ever U.S. farm exports with the tamest inflation since the 1960s.

Global food costs jumped 25 percent last year to an all- time high in December, according to the United Nations. Countries probably spent at least $1 trillion on imports, with the poorest paying as much as 20 percent more than in 2009, the UN says. In the U.S., the largest exporter, retail food rose 1.5 percent last year and will gain as little as 2 percent in 2011, the Department of Agriculture estimates.

Governments from Beijing to Belgrade are boosting imports, limiting sales or releasing stockpiles to curb food inflation. Higher prices will push U.S. agricultural exports up 16 percent to a record $126.5 billion this year, according to a USDA forecast. While U.S. consumers haven’t been squeezed so far, grocers from Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. to SuperValu Inc. have said they plan increases. Commodities will keep rising, according to a Bloomberg survey of more than 100 analysts and traders.

“We are absolutely spoiled,” said Jason Britt, president of Central States Commodities Inc., a research and analysis company in Kansas City, Missouri. “We have the luxury that we spend a small percentage on food. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see larger bites of our incomes used.”

Algeria, Tunisia

Unrest is starting again. Three people were killed and 420 injured in protests over milk and flour costs in Algeria this month. Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali tried to end a month of protests by promising lower prices for bread, milk and sugar, before handing over power to his prime minister on Jan. 14 and leaving the country.

The Serbian government said Jan. 10 it will consider an export duty on wheat to discourage shipments. South Korea said the following day it plans to increase the supply of some food products to help damp prices.

India, home to 1.2 billion people, halted onion exports in December after prices more than doubled in a year. Opposition parties have said they plan nationwide protests. China sold commodities including sugar and corn from strategic reserves last year to contain inflation that reached 5.1 percent in November, the most in 28 months.

No such problems are emerging in the U.S. for now. Consumer prices will rise 1.5 percent this year, compared with 1.6 percent in 2010, according to the median of as many as 61 economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. While the USDA is forecasting gains in retail food prices of 2 percent to 3 percent in 2011, even at the top of that range the gains would still be below the average over the last decade.

“We are a food-abundant country and the last place where food inflation is going to rise,” said Erick Erickson, an economist at the Washington-based U.S. Grains Council, which promotes crop exports. “We have such a rich and robust food- supply situation compared to other countries.”

Continue reading...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-18/record-food-prices-causing-africa-riots-stoke-u-s-farmers-export-gains.html

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Riots over joblessness and food prices in Algiers...

Video - Food riots in Algeria...

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Reader Comments (8)

Food Prices Causing Riots in Africa Stoke Record U.S. Farm Economy Growth

“We are a food-abundant country and the last place where food inflation is going to rise,” said Erick Erickson, an economist at the Washington-based U.S. Grains Council, which promotes crop exports. “We have such a rich and robust food- supply situation compared to other countries.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-18/record-food-prices-causing-africa-riots-stoke-u-s-farmers-export-gains.html
Jan 18, 2011 at 7:39 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Cavuto or his team don;t do due diligence. Did you notice that he said Andrea Merkel is reluctant to spend money because she remembers wiemar hyperInflation. How could she she was born 40 years after!? I am costantly amazed at how such drivel is gobbled up!
Jan 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterWhy
To Erick Ericson,
We may be food abundant, but if an American farmer (More likely Conglomerate Food Distributor) is given the choice to sell to the Europeans or the Chinese for more money, will he sell it to an American or take the higher price? Think man. Another case of academic drivel.
Jan 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterWhy
Again to Erickson, Note how he works for a group that promotes EXPORTS. Man!!!!
Jan 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterWhy
Let's not dog American farmers for being profitable, as your hjeadline infers. At least they aren't controlling production to make us pay more. Demand surely outnumbers supply here. The problem here is that every middleman down to the end supplier grocery stores are thinking THEY need to get more.

Are you gonna dog OPEC for controlling production of oil to control profitablity? They can bump production w/out weather concerns.
Jan 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterLexyLionel
lexy...i'm not dogging american farmers at all...check the bloomberg source...i grabbed that part form their headline...
Jan 19, 2011 at 6:10 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Record profits? lets try lower yields, though they receive more per bushel, they have less bushels to sell. U.S. corn for grain production is estimated at 12.4 billion bushels, down 1% from the November 1 forecast and 5% below the record high production of 13.1 billion bushels set in 2009. United States grain yield for 2010 is estimated at 152.8 bushels per acre. This is down 1.5 bushels from the November forecast and 11.9 bushels below the record high yield of 164.7 bushels per acre set in 2009.

The 2010 summer was so hot and dry that when the corn was pollinating, it aborted some of the kernels it would have produced if the conditions had been optimal.

If your yard is doing well, and you have to mow often, then corn is doing well. If you don’t have to mow your yard because it’s burning up, then corn is suffering. How did your yards do?

Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2010 is estimated at 48 bushels per acre, unchanged from the November forecast. Growers harvested 4.59 million acres of soybeans in 2010 from the estimated 4.60 million acres planted. Total soybean production is estimated at 220.3 million bushels, down 1% from the 222.0 million bushels produced in 2009.

On top of that, seed is up, fuel is up, it costs $250-350/acre just to get the crop started. Input costs include seed, chemical, real estate taxes and crop insurance, if the farmer chooses. Additional costs include machinery and purchasing / leasing land. If you lose a crop, you’re two years before payday comes again. But next year, you still have to put another crop in.

One friend of mine owns a greenhouse business and has begun planting for spring sales. He told me his seed costs went up 2 to 5 times this year. I haven't bought seed yet but am looking, and it seems to be fairly consistent that prices are going up. One pepper I am to grow is a dollar a seed.

As to the Countries you mention, they grow plenty of food, but it is all being exported. Many Countries are buying up all the arable land they can get their hands on to grow produce for their own citizens, thus displacing the local populaces of the "host nations". Hence the problem.

America is selling her farmland to foreigners as well.

http://www.stwr.org/food-security-agriculture/land-grabbing-the-end-of-sustainable-agriculture.html

http://www.chinafrica.asia/tag/agriculture/

http://trendsupdates.com/african-poor-farmers-victims-of-arable-land-purchases-and-leases-by-other-countries/

Yet just as when Reagan declared war on the American Farmer, the idiot class of Americans sneered and said "what do we need farmers for, I get my food from the store".

What you see happening in other countries will one day happen here. If China and others have their way, food will be for export only.

And the people will love them for it while they wonder why they are starving. But there are things that can be done...
Jan 20, 2011 at 3:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
enjoyed the links and your comment gomp...
Jan 21, 2011 at 3:48 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

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