Next thing to watch? Food costs

Those who haven’t been tracking agricultural commodities for the last 6 months should pay attention to the rapid rise in prices.  We’ve seen a return to 2008 price levels due to weather disruptions of crops around the world and ever lower stockpiles.  The UN Food and Agriculture Organization puts the food price index at an all time high, beyond 2008 levels.  It is becoming increasingly likely that food inflation is on the horizon and Bermuda needs to take note as this could further exasperate our recession.

Take corn futures for example, they’re up massively since the summer time and if you weren’t already aware, corn and other grains are probably a major component in just about everything you eat.  Grains are typically used as livestock feed, to make cereals and breads and a host of other foods.  Check the labels on what you’re eating, you might be surprised at the amount of hidden corn in your food. 

So why haven’t food prices increased massively yet?  Well, they have.  The recent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia?  Many point the finger at food prices as an instigator.  It can take months for price increases at the commodity level to trickle through to the vendors on to you.  Be warned, it’s starting to happen.  Eg:  Sara Lee to raise prices again on higher commodity costs, Kellogg Pushes Price Increases, Kraft says more price increases ahead

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2 thoughts on “Next thing to watch? Food costs

  1. Bermuda imports 100% of virtually everything necessary for life today. The few veggies and bit of local fish likely amount to about 1/2 of 1% of the imports.
    It an‘ t just food that is shooting up! Everything imported has to be transported to the island; ships and planes burn oil.
    The next few months will be interesting.

  2. The global food shortage is not likely to get better soon and will exacerbate the economic distress felt globally. It will be particularly acute here where we have to ship or fly most everything in.
    If the harsh winter storms are followed by summer heat waves and droughts this year, we may be in trouble.
    Grocery stores are already feeling the pressure from the reduced business with the contraction of expats on the island, this will surely feed the fire. Conditions and policy decisions do not look like they will be favourable for a quick rebound here. The budget this week will be very telling I think.

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