Energy: Oil, Agriculture, Food, Commodities & Cost of Living (2) – Wars & Rumours of War

  • The Tehran TimesHigh food prices to stay – IMF: World food prices are likely to persist, as it will take years for supply growth to respond to growing global demand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday. Going forward, world may face increasing scarcity for land, water and energy, which are the most important inputs of food production, IMF said in its quarterly Finance & Development magazine. The IMF’s food price index is now close to the previous spike in June 2008. Though a large part of the recent spike is related to temporary factors, such as weather, the main reasons for rising demand for food reflect structural changes in the global economy that will not be reversed… The unexpected spike in oil prices, triggered by political unrest in the Middle East, is also an indirect contributor to food inflation. High oil prices and policy support have boosted demand for bio-fuels, which in turn, increased demand for feedstock crops. Fuel is also used in all stages of the agricultural production cycle, from sowing to harvesting to distribution, it said. Another main factor is adverse weather conditions across the globe.
  • 24/7WallSt.Food Prices – A Problem Without A Solution: …there is no solution that would bring food prices down in sight. As with any other major global problem, the world’s most powerful nations think they can find one. Economic power can reverse nearly any dangerous trend which threatens the world’s financial order and situations which menace global political stability. In the case of the food shortage, however, there is no amount of brain power, capital, or cooperation among nations that can break the cycle of the rising prices for agricultural commodities. Crop yields will not improve now and may not for years. Cold weather has hurt production of fruits and grains in warmer regions. Most of the under-developed world has no access to hearty seeds, advanced farming and equipment, irrigation technology or the ability to rotate crops or keep land fallow. The US no longer can afford to export huge amounts of grain to needy nations, even if it has the supply… The starving world cannot be one at peace under any circumstance.
  • TheBurningPlatform.comThere are no good Outcomes: These countries account for 29% of the daily world oil supply. Does it strike you as a list of stable countries with happy populations of employed young men? Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iran have already experienced revolution or are on the verge of revolution. Algeria is dead man walking. The Saudi royal family is trying to buy off the masses to stay in power. The revolution genie is out of the bottle. It can’t be put back. Mix 40% unemployment, with millions of young men, no hope, and some Muslim fundamentalism and you’ve got yourself an out of control situation. No amount of public relations spin will create a positive outcome for the United States. The existing world order of despots, kings, and military juntas was just fine for Washington DC. They poured hundreds of billions of “aid”, tanks, helicopters and missiles to these “freedom fighter” despots who diverted the billions to their Swiss bank accounts and fell into line with U.S. policy. No matter who takes power when these revolutions succeed in toppling our puppets, the new regimes will not be friendlier toward America. And they still have the oil.
  • Jeff RubinSoaring Oil Prices A Double-Edged Sword in the Middle East: Why is the Arab world convulsing with social and political unrest when triple digit oil prices should be bringing enormous wealth to the region? The answer may be that the link between energy inputs and food prices suddenly makes soaring oil prices a double-edged sword in the world’s largest food importing region… From the diesel fuel that runs tractors and combines to the power needed to pump water through irrigation systems, modern agriculture is one of the most energy intensive industries. And the Middle East is the largest food importing region of the world. As the price of oil goes up, so does the price of food imports.
  • The Wall Street JournalPhilippine Oil Vessel Confronted By China, Spurring New Dispute: The waters straddle some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and rich fish stocks. In addition, they are also believed to lie atop substantial oil and natural gas reserves. The latest incident involving China and the Philippines underscores the sensitivity of the resource-rich area, especially as the Philippines in recent months has been trying to improve relations with China.
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