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World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Zardoz » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 10:00:30

This year’s world grain harvest is projected to fall short of consumption by 61 million tons, marking the sixth time in the last seven years that production has failed to satisfy demand.

MonteQuest, you may be right about the global population never reaching seven billion.

Remember, folks, this is happening while there's still enough oil being produced to meet demand. And let's not even think about the detrimental crop-production effects of Global Warming.
"Thank you for attending the oil age. We're going to scrape what we can out of these tar pits in Alberta and then shut down the machines and turn out the lights. Goodnight." - seldom_seen
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Novus » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 10:22:47

Who says we are really meeting demand. Many third world peasants stopped buying when oil went over $40 which the "experts" thought would be impossible just five years ago. When third world peasants can't power their farm equipment or buy fertilizer then grain production goes down. It is a bit strange but not too suprising when you think about it that peak grain occured a few years before peak oil.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Leanan » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 10:59:24

Well, so much for the plan to make ethanol from corn and other crops...
"The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place." - Albert Einstein
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby nth » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 13:49:48

It is not an energy shortage, but water shortage according to the article.

But high prices does mean lower consumption of oil in developing states.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Jack » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 16:01:21

Yes, water shortages are a problem - that's the interesting point.

Right now, the world depends on pumps to extract water from aquifers and to transfer water from rivers. We depend on more energy to line irrigation canals with concrete to reduce losses.

What happens as energy issues create a negative synergy with water issues?

I think we're going to see very, very expensive grain prices. It should be noted that open interest on the Chicago Board of Trade is high - and that generally implies a lot of hedgers want to lock in prices. They would only do that because they expect volatility. It seems unlikely that grain prices will go down substantially, so we might be forgiven for expecting a big move up.

By the way, notice the persistent heat wave in the U.S. grain belt - which is watered by the Ogalala aquifer...which recharges very, very slowly...and is declining?

What happens in the world when both food and energy prices head up rapidly and substantially?

What happens when global grain stocks dip down to, say, 7 days? Or zero days?

As was mentioned earlier, biofuels are nonsense.

At some point, individuals and nations will have to decide who survives and who doesn't.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby MonteQuest » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 16:56:12

Zardoz wrote: MonteQuest, you may be right about the global population never reaching seven billion.

Remember, folks, this is happening while there's still enough oil being produced to meet demand. And let's not even think about the detrimental crop-production effects of Global Warming.


And this is where overshoot comes in. Overshoot means that the population will continue to grow even in the face of declining food availablity.

Why?

Population demographics and population momentum.

The ones that will give birth have already been born, they just can't reproduce yet.

70% of Pakistan is under 16 years of age.

47% of all Arab countries are under 15 years of age with population doubling times of 7 to 11 years.

All, oil dependent.

How far will we overshoot? 7 billion? 10?

When will we hit a universally recognized tipping point?

Soon, if geopolitics get worse.

Yet, we are still in denial of GW.

Die-off inevitability will be a much harder sell.
A Saudi saying, "My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a jet-plane. His son will ride a camel."
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Zardoz » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 19:03:28

MonteQuest wrote:70% of Pakistan is under 16 years of age.
47% of all Arab countries are under 15 years of age with population doubling times of 7 to 11 years...

I need a drink.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby TITAN » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 19:41:27

nth wrote:It is not an energy shortage, but water shortage according to the article.

But high prices does mean lower consumption of oil in developing states.



When it comes to farming, less oil for producing fertilizer can be dealt with, water shortages is a FAR worse problem. And the current climate cycle is supposed to continue for at least the next 20 years??? Hello, Die Off. I feel bad for all those clueless poor folks, including the american ones (but not as much for those)...
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby ozkrenske » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 20:15:09

Jack,

As to what happens when stocks drop.

First they won't drop anywhere near as fast in producer nations. In fact many nations have mandatory food supply limits before marketing boards can export. So exports would suddenly start to stop and richer nations would snap up the exports that are available. The result is simple. Nations which are not particularly rich and not self sufficient will die.

Case study: Egypt, not rich and not self sufficient. (In fact only about 25% sufficient and needing massive continuous imports of low quality grain.) As prices rise and stocks drop the lower classes suffer first. Those nice begging grandmothers in the street die. Then people who matter start to go hungry and political and civil violence breaks out. Currencies suffer, the economy collapses, less food can be bought and then the staples litterally stop being delivered to poor districts of mega cities like Cairo (25+ million in greater cairo). Dogs become sausage, normal decorative plants are ripped up for roughage and stomach filler and then disease breaks out big time. Three months later over pop problem is gone as the population is halved and foreign aid manages to temporarily save the day. The country though suffers badly from malnutrition until global stocks go lower again and the cycle may repeat, either in Egypt or another poor overpopulated country with mega cities.

Key Countries with problems (all three problems, not self suficient, not rich and have megacities) - Pakistan, Egypt

These two are going to have big problems and one has nukes to threaten people with.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby parsifal » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 20:32:08

I read about the Ogallala depeleting well over ten years ago... people are on the move from their dying countires. PO is a great symbol of eveything coming undone. I place my hand on my heart and say a silent prayer before each meal.

"A days wages for a cup of wheat."

-Book of Revelation
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Jack » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 20:58:46

ozkrenske wrote:These two are going to have big problems and one has nukes to threaten people with.


I like your insights - and I agree completely.

Interestingly enough, India is facing some issues; they're dealing with wells that have to go ever deeper, and in some cases are failing. Bangladesh has wells with arsenic level 10 times above the international guidelines. And then there is Kashmir, which, as I recall, India wishes to control because of the rivers...which supply Pakistan with water for irrigation.

Methinks a powder keg is coming together.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Jack » Fri 16 Jun 2006, 21:03:39

parsifal wrote:I read about the Ogallala depeleting well over ten years ago... people are on the move from their dying countires. PO is a great symbol of eveything coming undone. I place my hand on my heart and say a silent prayer before each meal.

"A days wages for a cup of wheat."

-Book of Revelation


Oddly enough, that phrase passed through my mind when I saw this thread. I'm not usually inclined to biblical thinking.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Clouseau2 » Sat 17 Jun 2006, 00:17:52

TITAN wrote:
nth wrote:It is not an energy shortage, but water shortage according to the article.

But high prices does mean lower consumption of oil in developing states.



When it comes to farming, less oil for producing fertilizer can be dealt with, water shortages is a FAR worse problem.


The entire "green revolution", which allowed poorer countries to produce vastly greater quantities of food than before, is made possible only by massive fossil fuel inputs.

Take those away, and the yields collapse, and we go back to the natural state pre-industrial state of overshoot followed by famine and die off.

Not to say that the water issues are not also dire, because they clearly are.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Frozen-Stick » Sat 17 Jun 2006, 14:45:28

The food problems are already beginning:
"For hungry kids, 'backpack clubs' try to fill gap
...
"Without this food, I don't know what we would do," says their mother, Karen Lozano. In a town [TYLER, Texas] where the oil boom once created dozens of millionaires and where azaleas and roses now attract tourists, Ms. Lozano, 41, and her two youngest children sit in a living room beneath a bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling.
...
Cody and Cherokee are members of the Backpack Club at Douglas Elementary School. Every Friday during the school year, just before the final bell, they and 70 schoolmates from low-income families rush into the auditorium and wait in line for backpacks filled with food. In the past year, thousands of other children have begun forming similar Friday afternoon lines in schools across 30 states, from big cities like Chicago, to postcard places like Sonoma County, Calif., to rural hamlets surrounded by corn and wheat fields like Hawkeye, Iowa.
...
The Second Harvest survey also paints a portrait of the hungry at odds with common stereotypes: Only 12 percent of those served by the nation's food banks are homeless; 93 percent are American citizens; 40 percent are white; nearly half live in rural or suburban areas; and, more than one-third of the hungry households have at least one working adult.
"

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06165/698171-51.stm

In Germany there are expanding places called 'Ark' where children can get a warm meal every day after school and where they can play.
Some parents do have enough (some) money to buy food, but they are spending it for their mobile phone bills or for alcohol.
It's organized by a priest together with his family.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby SoothSayer » Sat 17 Jun 2006, 14:54:19

You guys are making me nervous ....this synergy of problems is scary.

The oil bone is connected to the water bone.
The water bone is connected to the grain bone.
The grain bone is connected to the transport bone.
The transport bone is connected to the healthcare bone.
The healthcare bone is connected to the natural gas bone.
The natural gas bone is connected to the electricity bone .... etc
Technology will save us!
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby dukey » Sat 17 Jun 2006, 15:02:28

i dont think we are at peak food production yet

UK has quite a lot of land which farmers are actually paid to do nothing with it. Ie not to grow crops on it, in a bid to stop the massive over production of food which used to happen in europe due to the CAP scheme. I think the same is probably true for the rest of europe.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby Novus » Sat 17 Jun 2006, 23:03:13

dukey wrote:i dont think we are at peak food production yet

UK has quite a lot of land which farmers are actually paid to do nothing with it. Ie not to grow crops on it, in a bid to stop the massive over production of food which used to happen in europe due to the CAP scheme. I think the same is probably true for the rest of europe.


If those farmers started growing again then fertilizer prices would go up and the output of other farmers mostly from the third world would decrease. That adds the additional cost of transportation to food grown in Europe to be sold in the third world. It is for certain we have reached peak food.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby untothislast » Sun 18 Jun 2006, 04:55:25

And here's the icing on the cake. All those extra billions of people . . . all needing more water . . . all needing more grain . . . and all breathing out CO2.
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby SoothSayer » Sun 18 Jun 2006, 05:27:15

The article here here suggests that the UK is around 70% self sufficient in food.

Assuming a "crunch", we could stop exporting our indigenous crops which might help.

Longer term we could use more of our land to grow food.

However are there any key crops, feeds, fertilisers, pesticides etc which the UK simply MUST have?
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Re: World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption

Unread postby grabby » Sun 18 Jun 2006, 21:07:17

Asparagus. Yum.
As more farmers abandon food for ethanol our stocks will fall more and more.
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