Panic Buying: Governments In Asia, Mid East and Africa Stocking Up On Food Reserves As Prices Rise, Riots Rage

by | Feb 1, 2011 | Headline News | 31 comments

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    Halal (Food) Distribution

    As usual, governments generally act after it hits the fan, and this time is no exception.

    According to a recent report out of Islamabad, governments across the world have finally realized that the rise in essential food commodities, coupled with an ever increasing global population and decreased production related to weather and climate, may be the single most dangerous catalyst for political uprisings:

    Governments in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa have recently made large food purchases on the open market in the wake of unrest in Tunisia which deposed president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

    Resentment at food shortages and high prices, as well as repression and corruption, drove the popular uprising which swept away his government.

    Algeria purchased 800,000 tonnes of milling wheat on Wednesday and Saudi Arabia has said it will purchase enough wheat for a 12 month reserve.

    Egypt, which has seen several days of unrest in part provoked by high food prices, is expected to follow.

    Bangladesh has tripled its rice import target and Indonesia this week bought 820,000 tonnes of Thai rice.

    Throughout history, governments have used food as a weapon – but when those governments can’t acquire the food they use to control the people, their very existence is threatened.

    As trend forecaster Gerald Celente has oft repeated, when the people are broke and hungry and lose everything, and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it. This is the effect that’s sweeping the Middle East today. And, if Western governments don’t figure out a way to get prices under control, we’ll see food riots and political uprisings spread to Europe (again) and the United States.

    There is, of course, an obvious problem with the panic buying we’re seeing from those governments that are worried about civil unrest. As they buy up food on the open market by the ton, they risk the unwanted, and in the case of government, the unforeseen, effect of inflating, and perhaps hyperinflating, the commodities markets.

    The price increases we reported on in The Real Rate of Inflation (October 2010)  were primarily a result of food production shortages and monetary expansion by the United States and Europe, as billions upon trillions of Dollars and Euros flooded global stock and commodities markets. Now, with large scale government commodity purchases entering the markets, we will likely see yet another leg up in prices for essential foodstuffs like wheat, rice, oats, corn and meat.

    Not to mention the fact that many of the world’s food producing nations are restricting exports in order to maintain reserves for their own populations. A report from the United Nations suggests these isolationist tendencies, along with attempts by some governments to control the free market price of commodities through price controls, has the potential to further exacerbate prices and supplies:

    Richard China, director of the FAO’s [UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation] policy and programme development support division, said, “The experience of the 2007-2008 food crisis shows that in some cases, hastily taken decisions by governments to mitigate the impact of the crisis, have actually contributed to or exacerbated the crisis and aggravated its impact on food insecurity.”

    The UN particularly warned countries from restricting food exports as prices rose this year.

    He said: “FAO strongly advises against such measures, as they often provoke more uncertainty and disruption on world markets and drive prices up further globally, while depressing prices domestically and hence curtailing incentives to produce more food.”

    It’s generally the case that governments take action when it’s too late, and when they do finally decide to mitigate a problem, it only gets worse because they often make the wrong decisions.

    Given the uprisings spreading through the Middle East, continued monetary expansion by Western nations aimed at preventing systemic collapse, and the bulk purchases of critical commodities by panicked governments, we can expect to see a marked increase in the price of food throughout 2011. In some areas, it may get so bad that food won’t be available for purchase at any cost, leading to widespread humanitarian crises, especially in third-world and developing countries.

    We continue to recommend, as we have for the last two years, that individuals take matters into their own hands when it comes to food. Do not under any circumstance, depend on your government to provide you with your basic necessities, because there’s a real possibility that they will fail you when you need it most. Those countries that have been buying food on the open market are not doing so because of their benevolence – they are stocking up so that their primary means of control doesn’t run dry. When the time comes, those food reserves will be used as a weapon.

    The best advice we can give is the same advice we’ve taken to heart: Buy food and other commodities at today’s lower prices, and consume at tomorrow’s higher prices. It’s that easy. You can pay $10 for twenty pounds of rice today, or expect to pay $20 – $25 by the end of the year. If physically stored rice were a paper stock, that would be a gain of over 100% on your investment in just 12 months – that is, if the current trend of rising food prices continues, and we believe it will. You don’t have to have tens of thousands of dollars to make sound and worthy investments. There’s an easy way for you to preserve wealth, invest and prepare for hard times, but you may need to redefine how you view the term “investment.”


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      1. Prep back 5 gal of cake flour too.  See what that sets you back.

      2. Anyone with any sence, and hopefully the funds,should stock up as much as possible. The sheeple will not and will be in a world of hurt.Anyone with an ounce of knowledge when reading about Russia, Australia, South America, even USA, with smaller than forecast harvests, could see this coming . Sock up on long term storage as soon as possible before it is too late! God Bless

      3. ooops, that is stock not sock. Good luck!!

      4. Sorry, but this story is total speculation and without a single ounce of merit.   Sarah Palin and Dick Cheeny are cornering the grain markets.  Rachel Madcow

      5. @Rachel Madcow — February 1st, 2011 at 3:01 pm
        Is it Rachael?  I’m not seeing any proof provided in your post. I suppose we should just believe you because you say so, eh?  Maybe it could account for the fact that FEMA has issued an RFI for 140 million MRE’s?  See
        FEMA Requests Information on the Availability of 140 Million Packets of Food, Blankets, and Body Bags
        As I said in my comment…in that story by Mac – January 25th, 2011 at 8:40 pm the gubermint does things for reasons we seldom know or understand.  Misdirection…what the ears hear and the eyes see, the mind believes — regardless of the truth.

        A primary tool of TPTB/W.

        GMAFB – you know…

      6. There is a very real possibility that this could happen in the U.S.
        The people that caused the economic instability the world is currently facing don’t care about people,,,,they care about money.,,SB112190164023291519,00.html–

        Those who are not prepared for a crisis will become part of the problem. I can’t emphasize enough the need to aquire at least a year supply of food. As Mac has mentioned in earlier post, your government is preparing. It would seem prudent to do the same.  Good Luck To All

      7. Rachel, what color of hair do you have?  I think I’m in love.

      8. Boy, it sure is a good thing we didn’t do something stupid like use food crops to generate fuel that isn’t as efficient as gas.  Oh wait!


      9. Never under estimate them.  They know that it takes more energy to make fuel out of that food.  That creates another bubble, more jobs, causes farmers to plant more and keeps some of the dollars home.  Didn’t say it was smart.  Think chess.  Hope & change is an oxymoron.

      10. I think the gold bubble is about to burst, just like every other bubble does… Too many advertisements, and too good to be true!!!

      11. Frank Buckles from W.V., the last American dough boy is 110 today!  Doesn’t the Jehovah Witness believe that when the last “WWI survivor” dies the world is going to sh%t?  Any Jehovah Witness’s out there?

      12. I am in need of an online retailer that provides large drums of Astroglide and/or KY personal lubricants for long term preperation. Any suggestions? My armada of ‘partners’ and I are preparing for the worst but I want to be able to have fun if SHTF soon.

      13. I think so too Blackcat.  Sell, sell! 
        Billy Ray: When I was growing up, if we wanted a Jacuzzi, we had to fart in the tub.
        President of Exchange: [Randolph Duke has just collapsed with shock] Mortimer, your brother is not well. We better call an ambulance.
        Mortimer Duke: Fuck him! Now, you listen to me! I want trading reopened right now. Get those brokers back in here! Turn those machines back on!
        [shouts – it echoes pathetically throughout the trading hall]
        Mortimer Duke: Turn those machines back on!
        Sell, sell…..

      14. Jehovah Witness’s wear long underwear!

      15. Comments…..  I’m wondering if  more Americans will see the food shortages in the rest of the world, and make the connection here. ?   Or, if they will continue to be a bunch of sheeple, and continue with their lives unphazed by any outside influences. Just a quick tally will tell you that things are getting worse daily. The food shortages are getting more prevalent everyday. With the crazy weather, and the many significant crop failures, it’s only a matter of time before bad conditions catch up with us as consumers. The inflation rate is already creating a disaster in the grocery price world.  wait till other conditions set in, and the sky is the limit on prices.

      16. The Dow hit 12K again, “Were in the money, were in the money, we’ll never see a headline about breadlines today”.  What’s that noise?  Is that the Niagara Falls?  My name is Peggy & it pays to Discover.

      17. Comments…..Bill

        Jehovah Witness’s wear long underwear!

        I thought Mormon’s wore special holy underwear.  Google “Mormon underwear.”  JW’s knock on your door and leave pamphlets.  Mormons do the same, except they wear the holy underwear.  But I gotta hand it to the Mormon’s at least the are preppers.

      18. Are you talking about the Long Term Prepping for Superbowl in Kentucky? 

      19. Tropical Cyclone Yasi is about to hit the east coast of Australia, specifically Queensland, which has just had major floods all along the eastern seaboard. It is due to hit 10pm tonight, Queensland time, which is roughly 8hrs from now. It will be the largest cyclone in several generations. Here is an article about panic buying, which is the least of our problems.

        Anyone interested in SHTF scenarios, this is a real one being played out in a first world country, right now. You would do well to watch the news and study what sort of supplies people REALLY cleaned out first, and how civil it all was. Thankyou.

      20. seems prudent to “top off” the preps……..

      21. What’s the big deal with the underwear people wear? !

        Sugar is up at WalMart already this year.  It is set to rise 20% or so by summer.  No big deal, it’s only 20%.  If you pay attention to commodity trading, which is based on FUTURES it will rise considerably.  Not to worry; this will ONLY affect the pocketbooks of those who consume sugar.  Well, unless another commodity rises such as rice, but even still, that will only affect people who consume rice.  But I think oil is rising as we speak, but that will ONLY affect people who consume oil (like people who buy groceries that are dependent on fuel from BEFORE the seed is planted in the soil), I guarantee it will not affect ANYONE else.

        No worry.  None of these things will affect me in the least.  I will just check food labels for items that might contain sugar or rice, or rice flour, or rice starch, or rice meal.  Hopefully no other commodities will inflate.  I think we’re pretty safe this year.  I doubt anyone will notice spending another 20-40% on food.  We saw a 20-40% last year and no one really seemed to care.

        I bought 100 pounds of sugar last night just to be on the safe side.  I may go buy some rice, beans, flour, whole wheat, pastas, and a few other things that I don’t want to pay double for by the end of the year.

        Hey, and if special underwear keeps people happy, who are we to judge?

      22. One more thing…nobody share their food with Rachel.  We need to cleanse the world of that kind of stupid.

      23. Is there a cost-effective way of storing water.  I’m a single dad with 1 son.  Got the food, ammo, and pm’s but am currently reliant on our city water.  Thanks for your suggestions in advance.

      24. Comments…..b12541

        Is there a cost-effective way of storing water.  I’m a single dad with 1 son.  Got the food, ammo, and pm’s but am currently reliant on our city water.  Thanks for your suggestions in advance.

        You can start by buying 1-gal size bottled water and store.  Keep buying until you have enough for a couple of weeks.  Don’t forget that you have water stored in your hot water heater.  You can set up plastic garbage cans under your gutters to catch rain water for your garden, or to flush your toilet.  To save water in toilets, if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow.  Keep all water bottles no matter what size and fill with water.  For showers, I bought a solar shower at a sporting goods store.  It holds 5 gallons of water.  You can also buy 5-gal water bottles at WalMart.  Start storing now, you can never have enough water.

      25. i store water all the time.

        suggestions   -   always store water in food quality containers. other types of containers look great but water stored in them for long periods may leach undesireable chemicals from the walls of the containers. YUK.

        always add baking soda to stored water  -  about two (2) teaspoons per gallon. water should always be stored cool in an alkaline state (pH > 7.0)

        the only reliable water purification system is reverse osmosis with the addition of ultraviolet channeling.  many beautiful shiny highly advertised water purification devices cannot be purchased in california because they don’t work as advertised.

        good luck…/s/  mushroom

      26. Comments….. Kommentarer …..why not make colloidal silver water..?? or cock some water and got destilleited water….!!

      27. Comments…..Been into serious prepping for the past couple of years.

        Just today, I canned up 14 pints of pickled asperagus.  Some guys here may want their ky-jelly, but I can eat and barter my pickled asperagus.

        Hope the rest of America is waking up to what is happening to our world.  If not, better be away from the cities before the shtf.

        Good luck to all of you.

      28. If I EVER meet one o’ you texas YAY-HOOS that AINT drunk water from a hoof print, I’ll…I’ll shake his hand or buy him a Dan’l Webster see-gar.

      29. Goldenfox – Opps, my bad.  I knew it was one of those.  Anyway……. things don’t look so good today in Egypt.  Three dead and hundreds hurt.  Looks like Friday will be another bad day there.  Won’t be long now before it’s us.  The groundhog must be an idiot.   We got somewhere around 18 inches of snow last night.  At least we’re prepared for it up here.

      30. Is there a cost-effective way of storing water. I’m a single dad with 1 son. Got the food, ammo, and pm’s but am currently reliant on our city water. Thanks for your suggestions in advance.

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