Global Food Reserves Have Reached Their Lowest Level In Almost 40 Years
For six of the last eleven years the world has consumed more food than it has produced. This year, drought in the United States and elsewhere has put even more pressure on global food supplies than usual.
As a result, global food reserves have reached their lowest level in almost 40 years.
Experts are warning that if next summer is similar to this summer that it could be enough to trigger a major global food crisis. At this point, the world is literally living from one year to the next. There is simply not much of a buffer left.
In the Western world, the first place where we are going to notice the impact of this crisis is in the price of food. It is being projected that overall food prices will rise between 5 and 20 percent by the end of this year. It is becoming increasingly clear that the world has reached a tipping point. We aren’t producing enough food for everyone anymore, and food reserves will continue to get lower and lower. Eventually they will be totally gone.
According to the UN, global food reserves have not been this low since 1974…
World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned.
Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN.
‘We’ve not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year,’ said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
But the population of the globe is much larger than it was back in 1974. So needless to say, we have a major league problem on our hands.
The United States exports more food than anyone else in the world, and so the devastating drought that the U.S. experienced this summer is putting a lot of stress on the entire global food system.
According to Reuters, the drought hit U.S. ranchers particularly hard. Many of them had to kill off large portions of their herds because they couldn’t afford to feed them any longer.
So there was a short-term surge in the supply of meat, but because herds are smaller now in the long-term the supply of meat is going to become much tighter.
So expect meat prices to start to go up significantly…
The worst drought to hit U.S. cropland in more than half a century could soon leave Americans reaching deeper into their pockets to fund a luxury that people in few other countries enjoy: affordable meat.
Drought-decimated fields have pushed grain prices sky high, and the rising feed costs have prompted some livestock producers to liquidate their herds. This is expected to shrink the long-term U.S. supply of meat and force up prices at the meat counter.
Some analysts are already projecting “a world shortage of pork and bacon” according to the Los Angeles Times…
The price of corn — a key component in livestock feed and an ingredient in powdered sugar, salad dressing, soda and more — catapulted 60% in early summer. A British trade group recently predicted “a world shortage of pork and bacon next year,” which most analysts interpreted to mean that higher prices are ahead.
In the meantime, chickens and turkeys are getting more expensive just in time for the holidays. Already, chicken prices are up 5.3% from a year earlier, while the cost of turkey and other poultry is up 6.9%. Eggs cost 18% more in September than they did a year earlier.
Sadly, the truth is that food prices have already been steadily rising in the United States in recent years. We have come to accept this as “normal”, but these horrible price increases are really squeezing the budgets of middle class families and we certainly don’t need food prices to start going up even faster.
One man recently came across a grocery receipt that was eight years old. When he compared those prices to what he is paying now he was absolutely stunned…
1 can Campbells Vegetable soup was listed as $0.89
We now pay $2.19 for the same can.
Fresh Haddock Fillets were $3.99lb. Now $7.99lb.
4 litres of Skim Milk was $4.59…now $7.59.
1 loaf of whole wheat bread was $.99…now $2.99.
Fresh Green Pepper was $1.99lb…now $3.99lb.
Canned tomato juice was $0.99 a can…now $2.29 a can.