The outbreak of riots over fuel and fertilizer prices in Peru is only a small taste of what is to come. In some prior articles as this is starting to accelerate I warned that this would happen (see Here Come the Food Shortages and Billionaire Grocery Store CEO Warns of Food Shortages (video)). Now it is here and as usual the nations that are most vulnerable are showing their answer to this crisis with protectionism.
Sri Lanka has been enduring the protests over food, medicine, and fuel shortages for almost a month now, causing the government to collapse. From the BBC:
Sri Lanka MPs leave Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led coalition
“There are endless shortages of essentials, including fuel and cooking gas. Hospitals are on the verge of closing because there are no medicines,” Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s former president and leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party that withdrew its support for Mr Rajapaksa’s coalition, told parliament.
And Tunisia with a strong warning:
Tunisia: ‘Food crisis inevitable’ as Ramadan begins
In Indonesia for example, the cooking oil shortage triggered a small riot in the country which killed two people. Initially the Jakarta government was going to block export of palm oil but has now reversed course by imposing very high export taxes:
Indonesia reverses course on export restriction on crude palm oil products and instead imposes higher export levy to control the export of cooking oil
Argentina followed suit with a 33% tax increase on the export of soy oil, via The Financial Post:
Argentina hikes export tax on soy meal, oil to 33% to combat inflation
This came only after heavy criticism for their original ban on soybean products from the 2021-2022 crop from the global community. But how bad is inflation in Argentina? Check out this excerpt from the article linked above:
The South American country is the world’s top exporter of processed soy oil and meal. The government has declared a “war” on inflation, which is running at above 50% annually.
In the Balkans, Serbia took a much more drastic course of action. From Reuters March 9, 2022:
Serbia to ban exports of some foodstuffs, president says
Serbia will ban exports of wheat, corn, flour and cooking oil as of Thursday to counter price increases caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Aleksandar Vucic told B92 TV.
That sounds pretty serious to any one, but add in the other comment he made and it starts to make sense:
“We are going through the greatest crisis since 1945,” said Vucic, who is facing parliamentary and presidential elections next month.
If that’s even just true by only 10%, then the upcoming food shortages and famines will be historic at any scale. Bulgaria and Romania are also considering grain export restrictions instead of dealing with shortages and domestic discontent.
Even Borat’s home country, Kazakhstan, is getting in on the act:
Kazakhstan considers limiting grain and flour exports
And of course the gateway between Asia and Europe, Turkey, is doing the same. As this article highlights, their just might be a larger problem that the elites of the West are not paying enough attention to:
Turkey has temporarily banned exports sourced from third countries to stabilize local market conditions and keep prices from increasing further, according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
Turkey has stopped exports of grains, oilseeds, cooking oil and other agricultural commodities that are being held in bonded warehouses at Turkish seaports. The Ministry of Agriculture & Forest also stopped direct exports of cooking oil, bulk olive oil shipments, margarine, red lentils and dry beans.
The exact volume of the restricted products originally sourced from third countries is unknown, FAS said, but is considered sizeable for the government to intervene and stop exports.
And in Spain:
Spain allows supermarket rationing to prevent shortages
Meanwhile, in the good old USA food stocks are going to become a major issue, especially when one thinks about the price of fertilizer and the stupid ethanol requirement. For example, from March 31st, here are the low lights from the USDA report on corn planting acreage and the current supplies (via US News and World Report):
U.S. farmers intend to plant 89.490 million acres of corn in 2022, down 4% from last year and below the lowest in a range of trade expectations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday. For soybeans, the USDA projected plantings at 90.955 million acres, up 4% from last year and above most analyst expectations.
The USDA also reported U.S. March 1 wheat stocks at 1.025 billion bushels, the smallest since 2008, corn stocks at 7.850 billion bushels and soybean stocks at 1.931 billion bushels.
It’s a good thing the US and global population has not increased since 2008; oh, wait a minute.
At the same time, HPAI (avian flu) is running rampant in from Texas up through the MidWest:
Iowa Farms To Lose 5 Million Birds To Bird Flu
How bad is it? This bad:
HPAI spread triggers price increases for eggs
The key excerpt:
Egg and dried egg product prices continued to surge during the week as cases of HPAI increased. Dried egg product prices have more than doubled since early March, according to Milling & Baking News, a sister publication to MEAT+POULTRY.
Needless to say that will impact production prices of baked goods across the land and has already started to show up on grocery store shelves with chickens and eggs:
Egg, chicken prices increase as bird flu spreads
And this story from Oklahoma City’s Fox 25 highlights the importance of local sourcing which will not help those in the larger cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, or New York:
Local producers sell out on first day of Scissortail Park Farmers Market
Most of the stands were wiped out as people are beginning to panic buy to avoid the ongoing food inflation.
And it is not just foodstuffs being impacted by the everything shortage, as WMAR ABC-2 in Baltimore highlights:
High demand for aluminum is causing shortages in the cat food aisle, and at your local brewery
The CEO of Goya foods has a warning about this also:
And a quick thank you to @WallStreetSilver for posting this chart tonight:
It’s going to get bad, real bad.
Add it all up and if you or your family would not or did not listen, they could be in huge trouble come later on this summer.
On a side note, I have been posting up links to long term storage food on my webpage every week now. I would suggest if you have not been laying in supplies, you might want to think about it at this time.
Because standing in line behind a FEMA truck in August will not be fun.