Dry weather and shipping delays in South America are boosting demand for soybeans from the U.S., the world’s largest grower and exporter, and producing the tightest inventories in almost five decades.
As the Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali discovered in January, there is no surer route to political oblivion than to deny people access to affordable food.
Cooking oils, left behind in this year’s surge in agriculture prices, are poised to catch up with grains as record demand cuts stockpiles by the most in 17 years.
Even a fifth consecutive year of record global corn harvests will fail to meet demand for food, fuel and livestock feed, reducing world stockpiles to the lowest in two generations.
At a time when consumers are focused on food costs that are within about 3 percent of a record, stockpiles of edible oils needed to make everything from noodles to fish sticks are dropping to a three-decade low.
Corn, wheat and soybean futures jumped to the highest since 2008 after a U.S. government report showed smaller crops and rising demand are eroding global inventories as food prices surge.
The U.S. soybean crop will be 2.2 percent larger than a year ago after farmers planted more and warm weather and ample rainfall helped boost yield potential, the government said.
"Cuba would be foolish not to be a good customer given the close proximity to the U.S.."
- Steve Nicholson on Dec 18, 2014