Here's a story from Bloomberg that ought to grab the attention of anyone in the food business … or, for that matter, eats food:
"Drought is shrinking crops from the US Farm Belt to China’s Yangtze River basin, ratcheting up fears of global hunger and weighing on the outlook for inflation.
The latest warning flare comes out of the American Midwest, where some corn is so parched stalks are missing ears of grain and soybean pods are fewer and smaller than usual. The dismal report from the Pro Farmer Crop Tour has helped lift a gauge of grain prices back to the highest level since June.
"The world is desperate to replenish grain reserves diminished by trade disruptions in the Black Sea and unfavorable weather in some of the largest growing regions. But an industry tour of US fields over the past week stunned market participants -- who had been more optimistic -- with reports of extensive crop damage due to brutal heat and a lack of water."
The story goes on:
"Traders always watch weather forecasts closely but this year the vigilance has intensified -- every bushel matters. While corn, wheat and soybean prices have cooled off from record or near-record highs seen earlier this year, futures remain highly volatile. Bad weather surprises from now until fall harvests are finished could send prices soaring again."
You can read the entire, entirely sobering story here.
- KC's View:
I was going to call this an "Eye-Opener," but somehow, "Holy Crap" seemed more appropriate - largely because that was (approximately) what I said as I was reading it.
This is all stuff of which we need to be aware, both as businesses and consumers, because what is happening all around us now is going to have a profound impact on how we live our lives, challenging the availability of some basic products that we count on. We're in for a culture shock, and I don't think it is going to be pretty.