The after-effects of 2012’s summer drought are far from over.
According to a new analysis from Rabobank this year’s crop failure and premature slaughtering of pigs, cattle and other staple meats will lead to an average 15% surge in food prices in 2013.
It may not sound like much, but when you combine this with monetary easing that threatens to rapidly depreciate the value of the dollar and an already indebted U.S. consumer, we can expect even more participants to enter government nutritional assistance programs.
It’s more expensive than ever before just to stay alive.
The record US, and global, summer drought has come and gone but its aftereffects are only now going to be felt, at least according to a new Rabobank report, which asserts that food prices are about to soar by 15% or more following mass slaughter of farm animals which will cripple supply once the current inventory of meat is exhausted.
From Sky News: “The worst drought in the US for almost a century, combined with droughts in South America and Russia, have hit the production of crops used in animal feed – such as corn and soybeans – especially hard, the report said. As a result farmers have begun slaughtering more pigs and cattle, temporarily increasing the meat supply – but causing a steep rise in the price of meat in the long-term as production slows.
“Farmers producing meat are simply not making enough money at the moment because of the high cost of feed,” Nick Higgins, commodity analyst at Rabobank, told Sky News. “As a result they will reduce their stock – both by slaughtering more animals and by not replacing them.” Somewhat ironically.
Food prices are now being kept at depressed prices as the “slaughtered” stock clears the market.
However once that is gone look for various food-related prices to soar: a process which will likely take place in early 2013, just in time to add to the shock from the Fiscal Cliff, which even assuming a compromise, will detract from the spending capacity of US (and by implication global) consumers.The “mass liquidation” of animals – which Rabobank said will pick up pace in the beginning of 2013 – will contribute to food prices hitting new highs.
The cost of pork is expected to rise at the fastest pace – by 31% by the end of June next year – while beef costs could increase by up to 8%.
“This record cost of meat and dairy will combine with already-high crop prices to increase food prices by 15% by the middle of next year,” Mr Higgins added.
This would see food prices reach their highest level on record, up by 175% compared to the year 2000.
But the report stressed that the current situation is very different to the crisis of 2008 – in which food stables of the world’s developing economies, like wheat and rice, were severely affected.
The bank’s research follows official figures that showed inflation had slipped back to 2.5% in the UK – closer to the Bank of England’s inflation target of 2%
But Mr Higgins warned that next year’s food price rise could push inflation in the UK higher, and so further away from the Bank’s target.
Via Zero Hedge
But inflation is only at 2% according to the CPI.
Ben Bernanke and his helicopter air force have everything under control, just like they said they would.
That 15% in food price increases doesn’t even include the new money that is sure to hit the system now that some $80 billion a month is being committed to maintaining the illusion of economic stability and recovery.
All the while American consumers, who assume everything is as it has always been, are going to be paying 175% more for food by summer of next year than they were paying in the year 2000.
The only investment strategy available to ensure that you don’t run out of affordable food as the US dollar loses value and climate effects deplete available food stores is to invest in hard assets today.
Hat tip Satori