10-Year Outlook for Agricultural Commodities
David Fuller's view Time is short and there is so much to read. Nevertheless, if you are the least bit interested in the foods which keep us alive, I think you will find this report informative. I read it carefully and here are some paraphrased bullet points of particular interest:
1) Water rather than land is the main limitation for world agricultural production.
2) Prices for staple foods will not return to the historically low (real term) levels seen at the beginning of this millennium. If you doubt this, look at long-term, inflation-adjusted charts in the Library. Eoin has mentioned these on several occasions in recent months and here is a sample.
3) Agricultural producers of oilseeds should do very well, due to richer diets and especially because regions where they can be successfully grown are limited, especially relative to wheat.
4) Interestingly, slow climate change is cited as a lesser problem for large-scale farms than legislation which drives up fuel costs for an inherently energy-intensive agricultural industry.
5) The US ethanol subsidy - a blenders' tax credit - expires within a year. Gas prices will rise without the subsidy, unless there is a reduction in mandatory ethanol use.
6) Institutional trading of commodities (I suspect this means tracker funds) is now so large that it is compromising moves normally based on the awareness of supply and demand.
7) Biotechnology is still in its infancy, certain to make enormous progress in food production provided it is not blocked by environmental extremism.