miércoles, 20 de julio de 2016

MercatorNet: Global food prices predicted to stagnate

MercatorNet: Global food prices predicted to stagnate

Global food prices predicted to stagnate

Which will be a marked change from the last 15 years.
Marcus Roberts | Jul 20 2016 | comment 

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations’ Food & Agricultural Organisation have prepared a joint report on the forecasted global food market for the next 10 years. According to this report, food prices are expected to stagnate at a level slightly higher than they were before the global food price spike of 2007-2008. This is good news, because global food prices have more than doubled since 2001 due to population growth and rising incomes which saw a greater demand by more consumers for meat than in the past. (Meat being more costly than grains and oilseeds. See here for our recent blogpost on China’s meat consumption.) In 2011, the global food prices spiked at three times the 2000 level.
However, since then the prices have fallen away somewhat. The last three years have seen the longest slump in food prices since 2000. A decade of slow or no growth would be more welcome than the past 15 years of steep growth and volatility. The reason for the report’s predictions is that global population growth (the main contributor to increasing food prices) is declining to 1 per cent per annum by 2025. Furthermore, income growth in emerging economies is predicted to be weakened and consumers are showing “a declining propensity to spend income gains on consuming more basic foodstuffs”.  The population growth will be matched by increasing food supplies: by 2025 global cereal production is predicted to rise by 12 per cent due to yield improvements while usage is expected to expand by 14 per cent. In fact yield improvements are expected to account for 80 per cent of crop output increases. Livestock herd numbers and crop areas are expected to only grow “modestly”. While meat, fish and diary demand will grow “relatively strongly” (good for the New Zealand!), crop demand for biofuels is not expected to change much. Overall, although expected rising fuel prices will increase the nominal price of foods over the next decade, once inflation is excluded food prices will stagnate for the next decade. Is this another sign that the global overpopulation doomsday scenarios are not going to eventuate?


Did you know that one of the contenders for the US Presidency in 2016 is a 42-year-old father of two who has been travelling the country in a bus shaped like a coffin and bearing the slogan “Live forever with transhumanism”? I learned that from today’s essay by Michael Cook.
Zoltan Istvan is running as the candidate for the Transhumanist Party, whose main policies include overcoming death and ageing within 20 years, and defending humanity against extinction from asteroids, pandemics or a take-over by ultra-intelligent AI. And they say Trump is crazy!
But it would be a mistake to write off these people as mere lunatics. As Michael explains in his impressive description of the movement -- including its roots and the assumptions it shares with the majority of people today – their leaders have money and influence, and its fundamental philosophy has been articulated by a US Supreme Court judge. A must-read.
Back in the real world, Sheila Liaugminas reflects on a nightmare week in the US that saw three nearly back to back police targeted assassinations, and responses to these shocking events by Dallas police chief David Brown and President Obama.
And Tamara El-Rahi pays tribute to her husband for his support during her pregnancy and the birth of baby Emma. Nadim, it seems you have passed the “new dad” test with flying colours and would be a great model for others. Congrats!

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,

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Michael Cook | FEATURES | 20 July 2016
Step by step, our lives are being absorbed by technology.
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What kind of beneficial trading deals can Britain make beyond the EU?
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As a trauma surgeon describes the triage and treatment of officers hit by a gunman in Dallas.
What to expect when your wife is expecting
Tamara El-Rahi | FAMILY EDGE | 20 July 2016
Beside an irritable pregnant woman is likely a very patient father-to-be.
Global food prices predicted to stagnate
Marcus Roberts | DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY | 20 July 2016
Which will be a marked change from the last 15 years.
David Brown: the black leader America needs
Barbara Kay | FEATURES | 20 July 2016
'We’re asking cops to do too much in this country.'
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Ian Freckelton | FEATURES | 19 July 2016
And the challenges of regulation.
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