I’ve been saying that the US won’t see starvation, but we’d see prices even higher than we’ve currently got. I continue to think that’s true.
The futures markets for grain and other commodities are taking a beating because of inflationary news, which means companies are betting that the price of grain will go down in the future. But I think they’re basing their belief about decreasing grain prices on things like the recession, inflationary fears, and so on, rather than on what’s really going on in the grain fields. The fundamentals in agriculture continue to be pretty bad, by which I mean that (I believe) that the causes of high prices are still in place, and there’s nothing about the crops themselves that should lead anyone to believe that the prices will go down significantly.
Not all the news is bad, mind you — some signs show that corn and soybeans are going to be better than they could be, and I haven’t heard as much about poultry loss from avian flu recently — but we continue to have serious long-term issues because of drought.
There’s a massive cattle sell-off in Texas right now because of drought, which has caused a shortage of hay and water. 4x the normal number of cattle are currently being sold. Maybe that’ll mean there’s beef at better prices for a little while, maybe not, but it sure means that there will be higher prices in the future. Buy beef and freeze it.
The US drought’s already bad and is getting worse. See this video:
…and the first chunk of this video:
This coincides with this discussion from last week.
Now skip to ~5:40 in that second video to hear about Ukrainian farmers having to sell their grain below cost, with government officials saying, “Without opening the Black Sea ports, I don’t see any solution for Ukrainian farmers to survive. And if they don’t survive, we won’t be able to feed African countries.” There was some possible movement on that yesterday, but none of it involves Russia, which is kind of a big deal. Look for more information on that next week.
Back to the US: Feed shortages are already a concern, and a rail strike may make it worse.
With massive inflation and looming food shortages, I still recommend buying and storing pasta, and now I’ll add that you might want to buy and freeze meat. Meat was always going to go up higher because the cost of grain will reduce meat production overall: It would be good to get more on hand before prices go up, especially if there’s a little dip before that rise starts.