I am sure like me, that you have noticed the increased prices of many food stuffs when you make your trips to the local store or supermarket.Global food scarcity is even in this day and age still a major problem.Countries such as Egypt have actually widened its food rationing system for the first time in 20 years.Russia and China are putting controls in place and other countries such as Vietnam are imposing taxes on foreign sales to protect their own supplies.
The cause of all this is that our current Global food supplies cannot cope with the increasing demands of a world population which is growing by over 70 million per annum.Not only is that a huge increase but the emerging market countries with their expanding middle classes are starting to demand Westernised , meat heavy diets.We are also seeing misguided political pressure to increase the use of Biofuels-this has the effect of diverting already stretched supplies of foodstuffs such as grains to energy inefficient fuels.
This means that over the last year while the price of agricultural commodities have gone through the roof look at the price of wheat over the same period.
Last week the price of wheat rose 25% in one day as Kazakhstan (one of the largest exporters of grain) announced a plan to impose export tariffs.This caused buyers to panic sending the price soaring.So we all pile into grains then?...well not exactly I am always wary when something moves this much so quickly and I think we are experiencing a short term bubble in the price of grains.
For me a better way to take advantage of the grains boom and one which is not so obvious-and therefore less likely to be driven up by the hype is through buying meat such as Live Cattle and Hogs.Normally this would only
be possible on the CME futures but once again the advent of ETF's or in this case ETC(Exchange Traded Commodities) come to our rescue.
They can be traded in London via ETF Securities the symbols are( LSE:HOGS) and (LSE:CATL). This will give in my opinion good exposure to the grains boom-how I hear you ask, well Livestock are fed mainly on grains so if you are a livestock farmer faced with the choice of paying the increased costs of feeding your herd or selling them in the market-it seems to be a pretty easy choice.The farmers rather than feed their livestock grain will sell it into the market and obtain record prices, they will then also sell the livestock.
If you look at the prices of cattle for the last 12 months you will see that cattle has dropped in price as a result of too much stock hitting the markets
This will mean in the near term we have too much grains everyone is planting that to cash in on the high prices and not enough meat, within the next 6-12 mths people are going to start to realise that there is a shortage of meat and this will I believe cause prices to rise. Supply and demand, Supply and demand the mantra on which the commodity markets thrive.
I would be looking for opportunities to cash in on the grains and buy the meats.If you feel really aggressive then think of going short the grains and long the meats....how can I do that in a non margin account I hear you ask...........well that is for the next post. Until then good trading.
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