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 The corn gets dried, not the wheat.

 The U.S., Canada, and Australia are major exporters. Some parts of the former Soviet Union are also players in this market. Globally per capita wheat stocks have been a consistent seventy pounds my whole life, until three years ago when they sank to forty pounds. If we have one bad harvest, which seems likely given underfertilization, that number goes below some critical level and the civil disorder events in Egypt, Kuwait, and Pakistan last year become weekly rituals.

  I wrote more about the wheat harvest concerns on The Cutting Edge News and I'll happily share my spreadsheet of wheat stocks vs. human population.

http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=838&pageid=28&pagename=Sci-Tech

by SacredCowTipper (sct@strandedwind.org) on Sun Nov 30th, 2008 at 11:48:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Neal.

Again, my question was about the WW picture. If indeed, we have a bad harvest next year (and the signs from your  neighborhood are not looking good at all), then the first sign should be grain prices going North again...

Over here, from my cursory reading, farmers seemed to be cutting on wheat growing, but mostly because of costs (fertilizers, fuel...) vs. lowered sale price; one estimate of the break-even point being at 145€ per ton, including CAP aid.

But this is Western Europe: the Middle-Eastern countries you mentioned are large grain importers and any imbalance in the global supply would definitely show there first.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Nov 30th, 2008 at 01:42:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

 How can the commodity price go north when everything else is sliding south? Grain will be more precious but that won't be translated into a price increase in the midst of a massive deflation ... right?
by SacredCowTipper (sct@strandedwind.org) on Sun Nov 30th, 2008 at 08:25:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122792036438265797.html
Seems like Cargill and ADM are sitting on their cash and not loaning it to Brazilian farmers, so their crops will fall short.
by northsylvania on Mon Dec 1st, 2008 at 03:23:57 PM EST
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