Monday, August 31, 2015

El Nino Could Set Off Next Great Surge in World Food Prices

Forecasters are predicting that El Nino, characterized by ocean warming in the equatorial Pacific, may be the strongest since records began in 1950, reports Bloomberg.. It has already brought torrential rains to parts of South America and dryness to Southeast Asia. The Philippines said on Thursday it plans to boost rice imports to prepare for potential shortages, while Rabobank International warned that wheat crops in Australia may be under threat.

Demand for food may also be larger than some analysts anticipate, leaving consumers vulnerable to shortfalls in production, Nomura analysts said in an e-mailed report last Thursday,  according to Bloomberg. Crop shortfalls and surging prices contributed to sparking riots and civil unrest in some countries over the past decade.

“It may not take much disruption in global food supply to trigger another price surge,” analysts including Rob Subbaraman and Michael Kurtz said in the report. 

Food prices probably will rise any way during the next decade as demand increases, especially in developing countries, and developments in agricultural productivity and arable land supplies lag behind, Nomura said

.  -RW


  1. Interesting. The commodity prices of corn, wheat and soy remain in a downtrend after months of El Nino news.

    1. Farmers have giant grain bins now. Quite a few will wait to sell what's not under contract.