Tag: food

Market Week Wrap-up

– Leading global equity indices continued floating upwards this week while the inflation drumbeat just kept getting louder. In the US, the January y/y CPI figure hit +1.6%, its highest level since last spring, and some analysts were alarmed by higher food prices creeping into CPI data sooner than expected. China’s January CPI report was lower than expected at +4.9% y/y, but markets panned the figures as heavily massaged by basket revisions. In the UK, the BoE said CPI would likely continue growing at a 4-5% clip over the short term. The World Bank released a report indicating that food prices were up 15% since October 2010 and are now only 3% away from record highs hit in 2008. Commodities moves complicated the story somewhat. While silver has pushed out to 30-year highs, there were signs that inflated soft commodity prices were beginning to unwind, with cotton and grain prices both below recent highs. Crude and gold prices have been impacted by reports that Iran is sending warships through the Suez Canal and bloody protests in Bahrain (next door to Saudi Arabia), although WTI futures were well below recent highs seen in early February. The Obama Administration unveiled its $3.73T budget proposal for 2012, including an all-time high deficit of $1.65T, reflecting the tax-cut agreement reached with Republicans in December. For 2012, the administration sees the imbalance declining to $1.1T, giving the country a record four straight years of one trillion-plus deficits. Bond prices held steady after the details were released, and Congress sharpened its knives for a budget fight. The Feb Empire Manufacturing survey hit its highest level since last June, indicating that the US manufacturing expansion seen over the last several months is continuing. On Friday there was plenty of commentary out of the G20 conference, where leaders tried mightily to achieve some concrete steps in reforming the global monetary system. Fed Chairman Bernanke took a swipe at the Chinese in his policy address to the G20, warning that nations which keep currency values low create imbalances, while the PBoC’s Zhou continued to push for a higher profile for the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). For the week, the DJIA rose 1.0%, the Nasdaq gained 0.9% and the S&P500 was up 1.0%. – John Deere crushed earnings and revenue targets in its Q1 report and nearly doubled its guidance for FY11 equipment sales. The firm hiked its sales guidance for its key agriculture and construction units as well, and said its Q2 revenue would blow out consensus estimates. Later in the week Caterpillar released very favorable dealer metrics for the month of January, with North America machinery sales up a whopping 58% y/y in the month. – Iron ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources reported very strong Q4 profits on a big y/y gain in iron ore pricing. The company expects global steel production to continue to grow in 2011, although it warned that spot iron ore prices are unsustainably high. Reliance Steel also blew out earnings estimates, and said pricing would remain strong at least through the first quarter of 2011. – In tech, Dell’s profit was way ahead of the consensus in its Q4 report, thanks to a big improvement in margins. The company said it believes the corporate IT…

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Urban Magnets for Disaster

Filed in BP, deflation, economy, Ford, Gold, inflation, o, silver, ubs, US Dollar by on February 18, 2011 0 Comments

When it comes to bad stuff the sky’s the limit. It’s gonna happen, eventually…one way or another. And it could be real bad. And when bad stuff happens, you’re better off being somewhere else. Where? Generally, bad stuff seems to happen most often in cities. Why is that? Cities are where most people live. It is where governments are. And it is where the labor force is most specialized. There are no subsistence farmers living in cities. Nor do urban populations “live off the land.” Instead, they depend on complex networks of commerce. The typical city dweller produces neither food nor energy. He sits all day in an office — completely dependent on others to provide power and food. Then, he goes home — still completely dependent on the division of labor for his most important needs. Progress can be described as the elaboration of the division of labor. In man’s most primitive state, specialization is extremely limited. From what we’ve been told, the early man was the hunter. Early woman gathered…that’s about the extent of it. As the tribe grows larger, specialization increases. One person might tend the fire. Another might be in charge of making clothes or arrows. The advent of sedentary agriculture and towns caused a big leap forward in human progress and, not coincidentally, the division of labor. Some townspeople went out to tend the fields. Others began to focus on woodworking…or iron mongering…or making weapons…or clothes. Some played cards and hung around at bars. There was soon a homebuilding industry…and, not long after, merchants, prostitutes and bankers…and even shyster lawyers and tax collectors. As the division of labor expanded, the average person became richer…and more dependent on others. In order to eat, someone else had to plant…and till…and harvest…and hunt…and gather. And then, when agriculture became mechanized, he depended on faraway people who produced oil and gasoline…and people who built …

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Sysco Confirms Our Worst Fears

Filed in AMAG, BP, GOld juniors, Gold Market, HAL, inflation, lead, Lear, o, target by on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

The food inflation strategies we outlined here and here and here may have sounded a bit gloomy, but considering what’s been happening in the commodity markets (inflation, weather-related disasters, and freezing conditions in Mexico), the well-timed strategies remain in place. ———————— Now that Sysco has confirmed their prices are rocketing (which also means your food prices will head north), it’s about to get a lot worse for the millions already struggling to pay their outrageous food bills… According to reports, you’ll pay double… even triple the price for produce within weeks thanks to a freeze that wiped out crops in Mexico and the southwestern US. And, according to Zero Hedge, “Now might be a good time to hit the frozen foods (or fresh produce if you’ve got a vacuum sealer) aisle at your local grocery store and stock up on your favorite fruits and veggies, as there may be a severe supply crunch coming in the next couple weeks lasting perhaps several months.” “Why pay premium prices later when you can prepare yourself today, before the rest of the country gets wind of it,” says Zero Hedge, as inflationary risks, supply problems, weather related incidents, and a recent freeze in Mexico that’s lead to an 80% and 100% crop damage makes life a bit more unbearable for companies that Sysco, which just released the following note: ALL OF OUR GROWERS HAVE INVOKED THE ACT OF GOD CLAUSE ON OUR CONTRACTS DUE TO THE FOLLOWING RELEASE. WE WILL BE CONTACTING YOU PERSONALLY TO REVIEW HOW THIS WILL AFFECT OUR CONTRACTED ITEMS WITH YOU GOING FORWARD. THE DEVASTATING FREEZE IN MEXICO IS WORST FREEZE IN OVER 50 YEARS… THE EXTREME FREEZING TEMPERATURES HIT A VERY BROAD SECTION OF MAJOR GROWING REGIONS IN MEXICO, FROM HERMOSILLO IN THE NORTH ALL THE WAY SOUTH TO LOS MOCHIS AND EVEN SOUTH OF CULIACAN. THE EARLY REPORTS ARE STILL COMING IN BUT MOST ARE SHOWING LOSSES OF CROPS IN THE RANGE OF 80 TO 100%. EVEN SHADE HOUSE PRODUCT WAS HIT BY THE EXTREMELY COLD TEMPS. IT WILL TAKE 7-10 DAYS TO HAVE A CLEARER PICTURE FROM GROWERS AND FIELD SUPERVISORS, BUT THESE GROWING REGIONS HAVEN’T HAD COLD LIKE THIS IN OVER A HALF CENTURY. THIS TIME OF YEAR, MEXICO SUPPLIES A SIGNIFICANT PERCENT OF NORTH AMERICA’S ROW CROP VEGETABLES SUCH AS: GREEN BEANS, EGGPLANT, CUCUMBERS, SQUASH, PEPPERS, ASPARAGUS, AND ROUND AND ROMA TOMATOES. FLORIDA NORMALLY IS A MAJOR SUPPLIER FOR THESE ITEMS AS WELL BUT THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN STRUCK WITH SEVERE FREEZE DAMAGE IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY AND UP UNTIL NOW HAVE HAD TO PURCHASE PRODUCT OUT OF MEXICO TO FILL THEIR COMMITMENTS, THAT IS NO LONGER AND OPTION. WITH THE SERIES OF WEATHER DISASTERS THAT HAS OCCURRED IN BOTH OF THESE MAJOR GROWING AREAS WE WILL EXPERIENCE IMMEDIATE VOLATILE PRICES, EXPECTED LIMITED AVAILABILITY, AND MEDIOCRE QUALITY AT BEST. THIS WILL NOT ONLY HAVE AN IMMEDIATE…

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A Self-Employed Carpenter’s Continued Thoughts on the Future

Filed in BP, Debt, deflation, economy, Gold, inflation, Lear, o, silver, US Dollar by on February 11, 2011 0 Comments

My first article on this topic concerned the sharp contraction of the residential construction industry in the U.S. I am a self-employed carpenter. The main thrust of that article was that the housing market is not going to recover to anything approaching its zenith. Bloomberg Business reported in January that housing starts fell again in December to a 529,000 annual rate. The annual rate in a good economy is considered to be a million new homes per year. The recent peak in 2005 was 2 million homes. Nationally, production for the residential construction industry has dropped about 75% off its peak. Inflation, lack of wealth, and rising energy costs preclude any great gains in housing output in the near future. The majority of the skilled construction workers will be doing something other than residential construction in the near future. What is it that we’ll be doing? First off, we are craftsman. “Craftsman” is a mind-set, a personality type. Throughout history, craftsmen have exchanged their labor, skills, and ideas for the expendable wealth of those who have it. That is the ball upon which we need to keep our eye. Many of us will likely still be craftsman in the next economy. The best-run construction companies will be able to get lean enough to live through the hard times and carve out a niche in the new residential construction industry. Most companies and individuals will not make it back. The current overextended financial situation in the U.S. will cause our world to “shrink.” Inflation and sharply rising fuel prices will force a lot of economic activity back down to the community level. Many things that we currently take for granted will become more difficult to obtain. Acquiring food, fuel, heat, and shelter will take on a greater importance in the day-to-day life of the middle class. I’m not talking about the Apocalypse. I’m just saying that things will not be as comfortable as they once were. You and your fellow middle classers will be conducting more business within your neighborhoods and communities. What do we craftsman do in the transition? First of all, keep your hand in the old construction game as long as you can. Do not create new debt for yourself. Do not bid jobs so close to the bone that you have no wiggle room. If something goes awry, and it usually does, you will have either new debt or legal problems. Speaking of new debt, get out of your old debt. The leaner you emerge from this transition period, the better your choices will be. If you have any liquid assets, consider owning some physical silver. Cash will be eaten …

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Recovery Chronicles: Tales From the Modern Food Line

Filed in BP, frontline, Gold, GOld juniors, inflation, Lear, o, Quantitative Easing by on February 4, 2011 0 Comments
Recovery Chronicles: Tales From the Modern Food Line

Here’s one from the recovery chronicles: food stamp usage is up 14% from last year. Today, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves about one in seven Americans. Of these, about half are children USDA officials say. From the Wall Street Journal by Sara Murray entitled: Some 43 Million Use Food Stamps “Nearly a year and a half into the economic recovery, some 43.6 million Americans continued to rely on food stamps in November. More than 14% of the population drew food stamps in November to purchase groceries as high unemployment and muted wage growth crimped budgets. The number of recipients was up 0.9% from October, according to the new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Compared to a year ago, the number of people receiving food stamps was up 14.2%. In both Washington, D.C. and Mississippi more than a fifth of residents received food stamps — the highest recipiency rates of any state. But demand has grown stronger in the past year in a handful of other states that recorded significant increases on a per capita basis. In New Mexico, 19.4% of the population tapped into food stamps. That’s up 3.2 percentage points from the same month a year ago, the largest increase for any state. Idaho reported a similar jump: 14% of residents received food stamps, up 3.1 points from a year ago. Washington, D.C., Florida, Delaware and Texas all experienced similar year over year increases.” For comparison sakes here’s how the food stamp roles have grown

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Dividend.com Weekend Edition – Hustle and Be Positive

Filed in dividend, Ford, Gold Investing, Gold Investment, Lear, o, upgrade by on January 30, 2011 1 Comment

It has been a crazy last 12 hours for us at Dividend.com as we have just upgraded to a brand new server that will be accommodating our ever-expanding audience. It is quite an amazing thing to see what we have been trying to accomplish when I step back and look at what our small and very hungry team has been able to achieve. You can say that the biggest risk you will ever take is launching a start-up. I guess it is par for the course for me, as I spent years making money as a trader – not an easy task for sure. As we grow, there will be some hiccups along the way technically. For example, we had to re-do all our premium articles from the last 3 days this morning. Nothing like coming back from church this morning to hear from the technical team that we needed to get all hands on deck to clear up some of the glitches from the server switchover. I try to make Sunday my least intense day work-wise and spend some quality time with the family, but when you own your own business/firm, you are never really off. It’s funny because I have worked my share of Sundays for many years, whether it was my early jobs in the pizzeria or deli, or helping my family run our food business in New York, which was open 7 days a week of course. My family knows the responsibility we have at Dividend.com and does a great job to support the efforts that need to be made to keep users happy. It is definitely a labor of love or none of us would put in the time that we do to keep everything running smooth and more importantly deliver solid RESULTS! The stringent research we do and data we interpret is going to be the difference in our future success as a firm. We know we have to be at our best at all times since there are other financial services/newsletters that we compete with. As we look to the week that was, the big story is unquestionably the chaos taking place in Egypt. The market sure felt the pain of the uncertainty on Friday with the indices seeing lots of red across the board. For dividend investors, sell-offs like this eventually turn into opportunities to buy quality names at better prices. The one thing to remember is not to over-think things and get paralyzed in fear. The only thing we can do for you here at Dividend.com is provide you the best names possible to invest in, but it is up to you to get your capital in your brokerage accounts…

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How to Profit as Your Food Bill Explodes

I hate to say I told you so. But with food companies no longer able to absorb the margin drops, and being forced to pass higher costs to the consumer… I told you so. General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg, for examples are already hiking prices… and it’ll get a lot worse, as we said in this Wealth Daily article: If you thought your $200 weekly grocery bill was bad, just wait. It’s about to jump 20% to 30% next month, as the Fed embraces another round of quantitative easing to combat global currency manipulation and devaluation. But that very move could do more harm than good. It’s likely to create another food price bubble, similar to what we saw in 2007-2008. Three years ago, wheat prices skyrocketed even as the consumption-to-stock ratio warranted falling prices… Bread was up to $1.32 at the time — a 32% rise in less than three years… The price of eggs rocketed 50%. Overall, food prices rose more than 5% and the average family’s grocery bill rang in $80 higher. And we’re going to see it happen again, as historically high corn prices drive the cost of beef to twenty-five-year highs… The sad fact is, this situation has no chance of improvement if the Fed floods the global economy with more dollars. What the move will do is further damage the U.S. economy Apparently, we’re not paying enough for food, energy, or clothing… It doesn’t matter that 20% of Americans are unemployed or under-employed. It doesn’t matter that, since the Fed last spoke, gold and other commodities have spiked… Crude oil has already soared some 27%. Wheat is up 84%. Sugar is up 55%. Soybeans are up some 24%. And corn just rocketed another 15% in two days — the biggest move in recent history, and a move that prompted some to warn of another food crisis. The meat industry just warned of a game-changer in pricing and profitability; the cost and contraction of corn supplies could mean higher prices for…

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Five Gold Investment Alternatives

Five Gold Investment Alternatives

Gold prices are soaring. Last month, the price of gold breached a new all-time record high of over $1,387 an ounce. But with gold increasing almost 20% in three months, speculators concerned with a correction in prices may want to consider other hard asset commodities as an alternative investment. So with that in mind, today I bring you five hard asset alternatives to gold to consider. Five gold investment alternatives Gold is a commodity. As such, the yellow metal derives a large part of its value from the balance of supply and demand. The majority of the world’s supply of gold comes from mining (58%) and recycling (42%). Meanwhile, global gold demand is dominated by the jewelry and investment sectors. The applications, market, and dynamics of its supply-demand balance make the first investment alternative to gold obvious. Gold Investment Alternative #1: Silver and other precious metals Like gold, world supplies of silver and other precious metals — including platinum and palladium — are dominated by mine production and recycling. In the case of silver, 80% of global supplies are mined while 19% are recycled. Meanwhile, worldwide supplies of platinum and palladium are more dependent on recycling and stockpiles. Unlike gold, the demand for silver, platinum, and …

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QE2 is a Waste of Time

While every one is all excited about the QE2 hope rally… it may not last. First, we could see a sell on the news event on actual announcement… and two, it will kill the dollar. While that’s a good thing for energy and commodity traders… agflation, for one, could tear us apart. And we’re not the only ones that think QE2 could hurt us. Morgan Stanley’s Stephen Roach, for one, says that QE is one big waste of time. He, too, understands that global imbalances can’t be resolved with kick the can policies. Here’s more on what he said to say… And, as I said in today’s Energy and Capital… If you thought your $200 weekly food bill was bad… just wait. It’s about to rocket another 20%… even 30% next month. And that’s because the Fed is about to screw us… weakening the dollar even more, and sending more Americans to the poor house. All in a pursuit of economic recovery… And the Fed doesn’t care who it hurts in the process… Heck, it just threatened China and the G20 with another round quantitative easing if they don’t play by our rules… And the last thing they need is an economy flooded with excess liquidity. It’d kill them… But it’ll kill us in the process… again. Apparently, we’re not paying enough for food, energy, or clothing… It doesn’t matter that 20% of the U.S. is unemployed or under-employed. It doesn’t matter that since the Fed last spoke, gold and other commodities have spiked… or that we could see a repeat of the 2007 and 2008 food price spike. In 2008, the worst case of food inflation in 20 years nailed Americans… forcing them to give up on going out to eat. They bought fewer luxury food items. They saw record high energy, corn and wheat prices, and startling sticker shock. Bread, for instance, rocketed to an average $1.32 – a 32% rise since January 2005. Eggs rocketed about 50% in less than a year. And overall food prices were up about 5%. And, in 2008, the average family food bill per month rose to $904, an $80 increase in a year. But fast forward to today… and we’re seeing it again. This year alone, crude oil has soared some 27%. Wheat is up 84%. Sugar is up 55%. Soybeans are up some 24%…. And corn just rocketed another 15% in two days – the biggest moves in recent history that prompted some to warn of another food crisis. The meat industry just warned of a “game changer” in pricing and profitability because of the cost and contraction of corn supplies… warning that higher prices for beef, pork and poultry will be passed on to the consumer. Excess cash is showing up in food prices. You gotta eat, right? The U.N. has reported that global meat prices are at a twenty-year high. Pork bellies (think bacon) are at a record $1.50 a pound; Australian lamb prices are at $5.50 a kilo — the highest price since 1973. In August, a JPMorgan analyst…

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Corn Prices Surge Amid Growing Fears of Another Food Crisis

Filed in commodities, South African Gold, Spot Gold by on October 12, 2010 0 Comments
Corn Prices Surge Amid Growing Fears of Another Food Crisis

Filed under: International Markets , Commodities , Agriculture Corn futures continued their spectacular rally. In the past four days, December corn futures have risen from $4.88 to $5.44 per bushel (each penny equals $50). Even though we have a good corn crop this year, the situation next year will be much worse. The U.S. government said that leftover supplies will fall to a 15-year low, as reported in the Financial Times. From 2007 to 2008, grain prices shot up to all-time highs when talk of a worldwide food crisis occurred. Now again, the same dynamics are beginning to formulate. Continue reading Corn Prices Surge Amid Growing Fears of Another Food Crisis Corn Prices Surge Amid Growing Fears of Another Food Crisis originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 12 Oct 2010 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

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The Ten Things You Should Be Doing NOW and Everyday

Filed in deflation, depression, Spot Gold by on September 24, 2010 0 Comments

“Must Do” #1: Stay Alert and in the Know. For the last fourteen weeks, we’ve examined the new economic realities that confront us on a daily basis. Our discussions have centered on a groundbreaking documentary, “The Fall of America and the Western World” which let us in on the thoughts, principles and policies of right wing, left wing, centrist and independent economic and political thinkers. Each week we’ve offered practical advice on things you can do to prepare for further economic deterioration and ultimately, your survival. This marks the last of our articles — we thought it would be advantageous to summarize our previous tips on what you should be doing starting right now and going forward to best position yourself to keep your head above water… TIP ONE: Get Real. You must realize you are being lied to by the media, the politicians and the experts. If you don’t accept this reality, then you will not be serious in your efforts to change your situation. TIP TWO: Be Prepared. Figure out what you’ll need to survive and examine what you have. This will tell you what you don’t have. Start a plan so you can get what you need, but don’t yet have. TIP THREE: Become Self-Sufficient. The more dependent you are on others, the less likely your chances of survival. Start with the basics: food and water. Do you have a plan for feeding yourself if the food supply chain breaks down, supermarkets go out of business and your cupboards are bare? TIP FOUR: Be Secure. As things get worse, those that have will become targets of those who have not. Is your home secure? Are you hiding your “wealth” and looking poor? Are your assets easy to get to but securely protected? TIP FIVE: Get Off the Grid. As resources dwindle a steady, reliable source of power will become a necessity. Solar, wind and hydropower are all within the reach of the individual, depending on your location. Transportation needs also must be considered, especially if you are reliant on public transit. Do you have a bicycle? TIP SIX: Get Out of the Dollar. You will need an emergency fund. Dollars are not the currency you want this fund in. Think precious metals and buying a safe to store them in as your bank may not be around much longer. TIP SEVEN: Think Individually, Act Privately. Be brutally honest about your skills. If your skill set will enable you to do…

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The Middle Class Recession

Filed in Debt, economy, Gold, GOld juniors, recession by on September 21, 2010 0 Comments
The Middle Class Recession

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the longest recession since World War II officially ended in June 2009. That’s the good news. The bad news is that nobody really believes it. As this chart from Gluskin and Sheff’s David Rosenburg shows, it really is different this time. Meanwhile, the combination of government and globalism is working to kill the goose that laid the golden egg—-a.k.a. The Middle Class. To that end please consider the following set of statistics from The Economic Collapse: The following are 15 shocking poverty statistics that are skyrocketing as the American middle class continues to be slowly wiped out…. #1 Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009. #2 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty ratesince the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959. #3 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among thedeveloped nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. #4 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on a year-over-year basis, household participation in the food stamp program has increased 20.28% . #5 The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June. #6 As of June, the number of Americans on food stamps had set a new all-time record for 19 consecutive months . #7 One out of everysix Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program. #8 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, theU.S. government health careprogram designedprincipallyto helpthe poor. #9 Oneout of everyseven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010. #10 Nearly10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almostfour times as many as were receiving it in2007. #11 The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year. #12 According to onerecent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job. #13 Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending June 30th. #14 More than 25 percent of all …

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