in minutes

An illustrative look at news and events

Grocery prices rising
Agricultural commodities saw their market value climb significantly in 2010. After two years of respite because of the recession, much higher prices are currently being passed along to consumers, which is already causing political complications in some countries.

Several factors
1. Poor weather:
Torrential rains: India Pakistan Indonesia Australia Weather disruptions due to La Nina destroyed harvests in many countries. Drought: Australia China

77% 39% 47%

91.5%

27%

Rising prices in 2010

2. Speculation:

Soy

Corn Wheat Co ee Cotton

Very low interest rates are causing speculators to put their money into raw materials, in an e ort to maximize their profits.

December 2010:

3. Fabrication of biofuel: 4. Increase in demand:

Land that was used to grow food products for humans have been converted to produce corn or palm oil-based ethanol. The planet adds another 80 million additional mouths to feed per year, or 219,000 per day.

Rebound in 2010
High oil prices (used in agriculture and transportation) caused a 40 % increase in the price of foods in 2007, which was repeated the following year. The global agricultural commodities index saw another 25 % increase in 2010.

The global agricultural commodities index reaches a record high.

$214.7

Consequences
EXPORTS IMPORTS
EUROPE In millions of metric tons

RUSSIA Banned wheat exports in 2010. The ban will continue indefinitely in 2011.

105.4
NORTH AMERICA

21

11.6

46.9
ASIA OCEANIA

Hunger riots and preventative stockpiling
The uneven sharing of riches and the di culty to feed themselves are the outcries from developing countries To avoid social disorder, countries like Algeria and Bangladesh doubled their imports of wheat and rice in the first weeks of 2011, which contributed to the global price increase. India, which has seen a 70 % increase in vegetable prices, banned the export of onions.

58.2

26.9

ARAB NATIONS

LATIN AMERICA

8

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Gas prices

9.1

2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

Sources: Bloomberg, Wall St. Journal, Fao, LA Times, World Socialist Website, Financenews.co.uk, Times of India

RESEARCH BY PIERRE-ETIENNE PARADIS; GRAPHICS BY JUSTIN STAHLMAN/QMI AGENCY

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