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Food Price Inflation

Food Price Inflation

| May 03, 2021

With upward price pressures already impacting the economy in areas like construction and building supplies, it was only a matter of time before food price inflation arrived at a supermarket near you.  The Bloomberg Agriculture Spot Index has risen by 76% year-over-year - the biggest rise in nearly a decade.  This is more than just a problem at the American dinner table as there is extensive literature connecting big jumps in food prices to periods of social unrest.  The Arab Spring unrest in 2010-11 coincided with the last jump of this magnitude.  Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid points out that “…emerging markets are more vulnerable to this trend, since their consumers spend a far greater share of their income on food than those in the developed world.” And Warren Buffet said at this weekend’s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting that "We are seeing substantial inflation. We are raising prices. People are raising prices to us, and it's being accepted."  Berkshire Hathaway owns, among many other holdings, food processing giant Kraft Heinz.

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Jeffrey Cerny