U.S. Food Prices 2013: Jeremy Grantham Warns of Coming “Dystopia”
Aug 08, 2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on July 25 issued a report warning every American that U.S. food prices in 2013 will rise 3%-4% — but that jump is just the start of a frightening long-term trend.
The warm weather in the winter months gave farmers hope for a great crop production this year, but a crippling U.S. drought now covers around 60% of the continental United States. The water shortage has killed crops, pushed corn prices higher, and will eventually make its way to your local store shelves.
But according to famed analyst Jeremy Grantham, the looming U.S. food price increase in 2013 is just the beginning, and the reasons go far beyond the current drought.
Grantham, the founder of Boston-based institutional money manager GMO LLC, in his July 2012 quarterly letter to investors wrote a report entitled, “Welcome to Dystopia! Entering a long-term and politically dangerous food crisis.”
Grantham explained that rising U.S. food prices have more to do with soaring population growth than this summer’s water shortage.
“We are five years into a severe global food crisis,” Grantham wrote, “that is very unlikely to go away.”
U.S. Food Prices Rise with Population
Grantham explained that as the world’s population rises, global demand for resources will rise exponentially; it’s a mathematical certainty.
“The general assumption is that we need to increase food production by 60% to 100% by 2050 to feed at least a modest sufficiency of calories to all 9 billion+ people, plus to deliver much more meat to the rapidly increasing middle classes of the developing world,” wrote Grantham.