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Viewings: 2946Natural disasters cause the world to think about survival. Worst drought in the USA, which are the largest supplier of grain to the world market, this year coincided with extreme weather conditions in major agricultural regions: Australia, Brazil and India. In Russia's grain harvest may also be lower than in dry 2010. In the face of disappointing forecasts for the harvest of the world prices for foodstuffs have soared to record levels, threatening a new round of global food inflation. While the Arab spring provoked including food shortages may occur.
"As for the food market, you should carefully monitor what is happening there, interventions need to rely on the opinion of farmers, to talk to the experts, but not to be late," said yesterday the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with Vice premiers. According to him, it is necessary to take a decision in reasonable terms, which are necessary for the market.
In turn, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who oversees the government of agriculture, informed that on Wednesday will hold a meeting of the Commission, which will address the issues of monitoring in the food market, and also the question about the interventions. According to him, the time for interventions has not yet come, but the question will need to go back in two-thirds of the week.
Recall that in early September the Deputy head of the Ministry of agriculture of the Russian Federation Ilya Shestakov was informed that in case of considerable growth of prices for grain in Russia point commodity interventions in some regions may begin before December, and if this does not help, it does not exclude holding of mass interventions.
However, in assessing the future of Russia, the respondents "NG" experts are expressing optimism. "Food inflation in our country has already been included in the updated expectations on inflation. I recall that they were raised from 5-6% to 7%, - says the analyst of the Agency "Investkafe" Daria Pichugin. - Most likely inflationary expectations in this regard will add 1-2% to the forecast of Ministry of economic development. Thus, food prices in Russia until the end of the year can grow by 8-9% in comparison with the beginning of the year. Not great, but not deadly.
A similar view is held and the Director of the analytical centre "SovEcon" Andrei Sizov. "Everything will go up - bread, bakery products, flour, milk and so on. In addition, by the end of the year could grow in price and vegetable oil, " he said. - But food inflation in Russia and in the world as a whole will not be catastrophic". While food inflation in Russia in 2012 will be 9-11% compared with 4% last year.
Meanwhile, the situation remains tense. According to the USDA, the drought has affected more than 60% of the country, while disaster covered 86% of the corn acreage and 83% of the area under soy. Accordingly, the forecasts for the harvest of these crops look as never pessimistic: the corn harvest is expected at 17% less than the lowest figure in 2006, and SDI - 12%.
Hardest in America drought has an effort on livestock farms, which have nothing to feed the cattle due to record prices for corn and burnt across the country pastures. In conditions of deficiency of fodder key asset is the usual hay, the cost of which in Midwestern States has reached unprecedented levels.
"In the coming decades, some countries have a high risk of food shortages due to climate change and ocean acidification," he told The Guardian yesterday. The international organization for the study of the World ocean - Oceana - published a report, which warns of the increasing risk of food insecurity in the Persian Gulf countries, as well as in Libya and Pakistan.
"Countries that are experiencing rapid population growth and acute food shortages, may lose more than 50% of the fishery in the coming decades", says the report.
This is also confirmed by the world Bank (WB), published in early September, "Monitoring of food prices". The main conclusion: severe droughts increase in food prices, threatening the poor. "From June to July, the price of corn and wheat increased by 25%, and soybeans rose by 17%, and only the price of rice fell by 4%," reads the report. In addition, we expect the WB index of food prices was higher than in July of the last year on 6% and 1% above the previous peak value observed in February 2011.
"Food prices again rose sharply, threatening the health and welfare of millions of people," said world Bank group President Jim Yong Kim. The most vulnerable, he said, are Africa and the middle East, as well as people in other countries, where a sudden increase in prices for crops.
Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of agriculture, the rising cost of food caused a more than 60 riots around the world in the period from 2007 to 2009. Excessively high prices for food products also contributed to the unrest that led to the overthrow of governments in Egypt and Tunisia in the past year. Such protests may recur in the future.
According to the Director of the Institute of globalization problems Mikhail Delyagin, food prices will rise. "According to industry analysts, the grain harvest will be lower than 70 million tons, " he said. - The volume of domestic consumption - 71,5 million tons, so that the current crop it does not cover. However, there are carry-overs about 17,7 million tons...". As for the impact of price situation in the world, then, according to him, it is possible that the first blow will go to Syria, where today there is civil war.
At the same time, some experts are trying to look into the future, which is seen them quite unfavorable. According to a recent study company Oxfam, the impact of climate change on future food prices underestimated. In the report "Weather cataclysms - price disasters Oxfam try to predict scenario of the impact of extreme weather events on food prices in 2030. The study warns that by this date, the world will be even less resistant to this sort of drought, which happened in the USA this year, given its dependence on U.S. exports of wheat and corn prices will grow.
Main findings: even at rather favorable scenario, another drought in the United States in 2030 may cause increases in the price of corn at 140%, which is above the average food prices in 2030, which will double in comparison with today's prices. Drought and floods in southern Africa can increase to consumers, the price of corn and other coarse grains 120%. The current vector of price growth may mean that the 25-kilogram bag of grain, which is enough food for families in Africa for two weeks, will cost $ 40. The US compared to $ 18. at this moment.
As explained to "NG" the coordinator of " Economic justice" and "climate Change" the Russian office of Oxfam Yulia evtushik, "in global report, unfortunately, no data on Russia". However, and this topic is not less actual. "We remember the 2010 drought, which led to the loss of 44% of the grain harvest and higher prices, " she says. 2012 is the year also brought a lot of unpleasant surprises".
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