The Food Crisis Is Looming

Monday, August 9, 2010
By Paul Martin

Jim Rogers Says Wheat, Agricultural Commodities Set for Steep Price Rises

INTERNATIONAL. Legendary global investor and chairman of Singapore-based Rogers Holdings, Jim Rogers believes that shortages in the agriculture sector are coming.

Wheat prices in Europe hit their highest level in two years, rising almost 50% since late June as Russia due is experiencing a record drought that has destroyed millions of hectares of its land.

“That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Rogers told CNBC in a phone interview Tuesday.

“We’re going to have much, much higher prices over the next few years,” Rogers added.

Russia, currently the world’s number three wheat exporter, earlier this week slashed its grain harvest forecast to 70-75 million tonnes owing to the worst drought for decades.

Prime Minister Putin this week banned grain exports for the next four-and-a-half months due to the drought.

Last year, Russia exported 21.4 million tonnes of grain and observers had already warned that could be sharply lower this year owing to the drought. The Russian Grain Union has said that in a worst-case scenario, they could range from as low as 11 million tonnes up to 19.5 million tonnes.

Concerns about Russia — coupled with a drought that has also hit Ukraine and Kazakhstan as well as a low harvest in Canada — had already led to a spike in global wheat prices to two-year highs.

On Euronext, the November milling wheat future jumped after Russia’s announcement to 234 euros per metric tonne, up 11.96% on the day.

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