- How to Profit From the Russian Wheat Shortage
- Drought Forces Russia to Ban Grain Exports
- How to Profit From the "Fertilizer Wars"
- Wheat's Forecasted Price Drop Highlights Profit Plays in Commodities
Having grown up on a working farm in Oregon, I understand this all too well. Those days taught me a lot about hard work and patience. Four decades later, as I read news stories about the current travails of Russian wheat farmers, the memories of getting up on wet winter mornings for the pre-dawn goat milking - or having to drive a tractor when I was only six years old - engender a lot of empathy for the difficult challenges the wheat farmers face.
Wild fires are racing through unharvested wheat fields, the result of a Russian heat wave that has destroyed more than one-fifth of that country's wheat crop. In addition to causing the farmers considerable pain, the crop losses have caused wheat prices to double this summer.
This has spawned an export ban in Russia, which effectively removes the third-largest exporter in the world from the market. It's also created a major profit opportunity for U.S. investors.
Let me explain.
Wheat rose to a 23-month high after Russia, the world's third-largest grower, announced a ban beginning Aug.15 that will last through the end of the year. Corn and rice prices also surged yesterday after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said a ban on those grains would be "appropriate" in light of skyrocketing prices.
Domestic grain prices gained 19% last week, faster than at the peak of the global food crisis in 2008. The ban includes wheat, barley, rye, corn and flour exports, according to the government decree that also set aside nearly $1.2 billion for stricken farmers.
There's nothing like scarcity and supply disruptions to fuel violent price spikes. And there's nothing like the basic human needs for food and water to light that fuse.
Today's world food supplies run on razor-thin inventories.
While the food riots of 2008 have all but disappeared from our short-term memories, the threat of them returning grows stronger with every passing day.
According to the World Bank, food prices increased 83% between February 2005 and February 2008. In April 2008, when the United Nation's World Food Programme warned that a "silent tsunami" of hunger was sweeping the globe because of soaring food prices, it was more than just a clever sound bite tossed off by a bureaucrat: It was a warning that the world's poor were being squeezed as increasingly higher portions of their family incomes were being spent on the food they required for their very survival.
Improved fertilizers will be a key to the solution of this problem. And they won't just promote crop growth - savvy investors who fertilize their portfolios will be pleased with their profit harvest.
Let me explain ...
To discover how to profit from zooming fertilizer prices, please read on....