Grain Price Hikes Spark Riots in Africa
Major spikes in rice prices and other staples have kicked off food riots in Yemen and Morocco and hoarding in Hong Kong, reports The Washington Post.
As a result of the price hikes Egypt, Cambodia, India and Vietnam have restricted export restricted the export of rice.
The price of grains — corn, wheat, and rice — has been rising since 2005 under pressure from farmers who would rather plant crops for biofuels than for food, the lack of technological breakthroughs in crop yields, and drought and disease. The sharpest increase has been this year, with the price of Thai rice, a world benchmark, nearly doubling since January, to $760 per metric ton. Some analysts expect that price to reach $1,000 in the next three months
Tom Dyson is bullish on agriculture.
“Grain markets are a little frothy right now, but the long-term argument is solid. If you’d like to invest in grains, PowerShares has a sugar, corn, soybean, and wheat ETF (DBA). In October, iPath created JJA, traded on the NYSE. It tracks corn, wheat, soybeans, sugar, coffee, cotton, and soybean oil. Elements has come out with an instrument that tracks the 20 commodities in the Rogers International Commodities Index (RJA). Finally, market Vectors has an ETF of agribusiness stocks (MOO).”