“The term ‘food unrest’ will become part of our daily vocabulary,” Brown tells The Daily Ticker.
It reflects the imbalance between the supply of food and demand for food globally.
On the demand side, says Brown, is a growing global population — 80 million more people born each year — and more people moving up the food chain, which means as many as 3 billion people are consuming more “grain intensive products” like meat, milk and eggs. “Rising affluence may have eclipsed population growth” as a major demand factor for food prices, says Brown.
And in the U.S. about one-third of the corn crop is diverted to produce ethanol for gasoline. “We’re now using more grain to fuel cars than to feed livestock and poultry” says Brown.
On the supply side, severe drought in the U.S., Russia, the Ukraine, Pakistan and Kazakhstan have crushed grain harvests at a time when crop yields are stagnating in many countries. “Rice yields in Japan haven’t increased at all and the same is true for wheat yields in France, Germany and the U.K,” says Brown. He doesn’t expect that “glass ceiling” will be broken anytime soon….”