2011 FOOD CRISIS

Grain shortages, soaring prices, food riots Mar 2011’s beginning

Violent food riots in Iran, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco
and Mozambique and mounting protests in
India, Jordan, Indonesia and elsewhere at the very
outset of 2011 are alarming many government officials.
They fear extreme weather conditions that have wiped out
thousands of acres of crops in the world’s largest grain exporting
nations portend skyrocketing prices and widespread
uprisings throughout the world as the new year
begins.
In 2008, higher grain prices triggered food riots and
protests in nearly three dozen poor countries, including
Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Kenya, Somalia, Burkino Faso
and Cameroon. Philippe Chalmin, a French economic adviser,
said Jan. 6 that violence could especially flare this
spring because of a spike in cereal grain prices.
“I’m very concerned. … For the cereals, I expect very
strong tension around March, April. There are no more
stocks available with the large exporters,” Chalmin told the
Bloomberg news agency, which reported that corn prices
rose 52 percent and wheat prices 47 percent in Chicago last
year.
The Washington Post reported on Jan. 14: “The state of
emergency in Tunisia has economists worried that we may
be seeing the beginnings of a second wave of global food
riots. Battered by bad weather and increasing demand from
the developing world, the global food supply system is
buckling under the strain.”
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
(FAO) announced that its food price index jumped 32 percent
to an all-time high in the second half of 2010, “surpassing
the previous record, set in the early summer of
2008, when deadly clashes over food broke out around the
world, from Haiti to Somalia,” the Post reported. “We are
entering a danger territory,” a top FAO official warned.

 

FOOD RIOTS IN ALGERIA

Algeria_Food Riots_Survival of the Fittest


Estimated corn reserves were cut to about half the level in
storage at the start of the 2010 harvest; soybean reserves
are at the lowest levels in three decades, and the ratio of
stocks to demand is expected to fall later this year to “levels
unseen since the mid-1970s,” msnbc.com reported Jan. 14.
“I haven’t seen numbers this low that I can remember in the
last 20 or 30 years,” Dennis Conley, a University of Nebraska
agricultural economist, told MSNBC. “We are at
record low stocks. So if there is any kind of glitch at all in
the U.S. weather, supplies are going to remain tighter, and
we might see even higher prices.”
Many mainstream news media outlets and economists
are starting to realize that massive grain shortages,
steeply rising food costs and worsening hunger in Third
World countries pose a grave threat to the global economy
and world peace.
These ominous end-time developments were predicted hundreds
of years ago in Bible prophecy and are coming to
pass with alarming speed! So far this year, corn is up 63
percent; wheat, 84 percent; soybeans, 24 percent; and
sugar, 55 percent in price!
As the Philadelphia Remnant recently forewarned regarding
the black horse of famine described in the Book of
Revelation: “The black horse symbolizes grain shortages,
steeply rising food costs and mass starvation, which is beginning
to accelerate as the black horse starts to gallop
throughout the world! … This scene described by the Apostle
John shows extreme inflation and severe grain
shortages. No longer will food costs be relatively inexpensive!”
(“The Black Horse Gallops,” September/October issue)
“The price of grains began to rise last fall after fires in Russia
wiped out hundreds of thousands of acres of grains and
heavy rain destroyed much of Canada’s wheat crop. The
problems were followed by hot, dry weather in Argentina
that devastated the soybean crop of the key exporter. This
month, floods in Australia destroyed much of the country’s
wheat crop,” the Washington Post reported. Much of the
Ukraine’s grain harvest also was eradicated by extreme
heat.
JP Morgan, a major investment bank, said Australian food
prices could rise as much as 30 percent in coming months
as a result of devastating floods in the Queensland region,
which is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat and
sugar cane. Other grains, fruits and vegetables also have
been adversely impacted.
“The bank’s chief economist in Australia said 50 percent of
crops had been affected by the floods, with 20 percent
wiped out,” the BBC reported on Jan. 11. Flooding also
damaged crops in Pakistan last year.
In a Jan. 12 article, the Financial Times reported: “The
world has moved a step closer to a food price shock after
the U.S. government surprised traders by cutting stock
forecasts for key crops, sending corn and soybean prices to
their highest level in 30 months.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the nation’s
2010 corn stockpiles will fall to 745 million bushels or 18.9
million tons, the lowest since 1996. It predicted that global
corn production will plunge by 20.1 million tons, 17 percent
worse than expected in December.

ONION/POTATO VENDOR IN INDIA WITH SCALES

India_onion potato vendor with scales


U.S. soybean stockpiles may slide to
3.82 million tons before this year’s
harvest from 4.49 million tons estimated
last month and 4.1 million tons
last year, the USDA said. Global soybean
inventories were projected at
58.28 million tons before the next harvest
versus 60.1 million tons estimated
in December and 60.2 million tons a
year ago.
Meanwhile, soybean production in Argentina,
the world’s third-largest producer,
is forecast to fall 15 percent to
47 million tons this year because of
severe drought. India’s billion people
are seeing food prices rising at an annual
rate of 18 percent – with the steepest increases for
onions and potatoes, which have doubled in price.
“Some experts warned that the world could be on the verge
of a ‘nightmare scenario’ of cut throat competition for the
control of shrinking supplies,” the Telegraph reported on
Jan. 7, noting millions of the world’s poor must spend 80
per cent of their income on food. Adding 80 million people
a year, the world’s population is expected to soon exceed
seven billion. A sharp increase in prices could be catastrophic.
Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute president, told the
Telegraph: “The reality is that the world is only one poor
harvest away from chaos. We are so close to the edge that
politically destabilizing food prices could come at any
time.”
Brown said if a heat wave were to hit Chicago and the Midwest
(the U.S. breadbasket), like what scorched Moscow
and Russia’s crops last year, the U.S. harvest could slump
40 percent, spiraling prices “off the chart” and causing “the
global economy to start to unravel.” Such weather extremes
are increasing, he noted.
In the Jan. 10 issue of Foreign Policy, Brown observed: “In
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, wheat yields
are no longer rising at all. These three countries together
account for roughly one-eighth of the world wheat harvest.”
He predicted the unrest in recent weeks is “just the beginning.

… It is … spreading food shortages and rising food
prices – and the political turmoil this would lead to – that
threatens our global future.”

Revelation 6:5-6 describes this frightening development
with graphic symbolism: “When He (Christ) opened the
third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and
see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who
sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a
voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A
quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for
a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’ ”

This scene shows extreme inflation and severe grain shortages.
No longer will food costs be relatively inexpensive!

Christ showed in the parable of the vineyard workers that a
denarius, a form of Roman currency, was a full day’s
wage! (Matthew 20:1-2)

The black horse symbolizes a time when a full day’s wage
will buy only about a quart of wheat and only three quarts
of barley for extremely expensive loaves of bread! No
longer will bread be abundant or inexpensive!
Look for global food shortages to become more acute,
prices to soar and tensions to escalate into violence in
2011 as hungry people turn desperate and Bible
prophecies are fulfilled in greater intensity!


excerpted from “Philadelphia Remnant Magazine January/February 2011”

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