Soaring Food Prices
Agricultural commodities prices exploded on Friday, threatening higher global food prices, after the US government forecasters slashed grains production estimates after adverse weather damaged crops worldwide.
The price movements of up to 12.5 percent were among the worst since the 2007-08 food crisis as traders scrambled for supplies amid warnings of dwindling inventories. They followed a warning from the US Department of Agriculture that stocks of corn and barley, the feed stocks of the meat industry, would “fall dramatically“ with US corn stocks forecast to hit a 14-year low.
农产品价格涨幅最高达到12.5%，这是自2007—08 年食品危机以来涨幅最大的一次。由于不断传来库存下滑的警告，交易员正在疯狂地寻求货源。此前，美国农业部警告，肉类行业的饲料——玉米和大麦库存将“大幅下降“，其中美国玉米库存预测将达到14 年低点。
“The combined shortfalls in the US, Europe, Russia and Ukraine present a much tighter supply picture than just a few months ago,“ the USDA said.
The warning raised the prospect of a repetition of the 2007-08 food crisis, when the cost of agricultural commodities hit record highs and food riots rocked emerging countries. The share prices of meat companies, which rely on cheap corn, were down. Tyson Foods fell 7.8 per cent.
“This revision highlights that we are in a fragile supply and demand situation,“ said Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.
In Chicago, main agricultural commodities surged to daily fluctuation limits imposed by exchange rules. Traders, unable to use futures because of the daily limits, bid indicative corn prices to $5.60 a bushel in the options market, up 12.5 percent. European wheat prices jumped by 10 percent while the cost of other key commodities, including soybean, sugar, cotton, barley and oats, also surged.
The agricultural rally, coupled with stronger oil and metals prices, propelled the Reuters-Jefferies CRB commodities index to a two-year high.