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Posts Tagged ‘food costs’

Wal-Mart US CEO To America: “Prepare For Serious Inflation”

April 1, 2011 Comments off

zerohedge.com

 

To those who think that buying food in the corner deli is becoming a luxury, we have five words: you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. U.S. consumers face “serious” inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart’s U.S. operations warned Wednesday talking to USA Today. And if Wal-Mart which is at the very bottom of commoditized consumer retail, and at the very peak of avoiding reexporting of US inflation by way of China is concerned, it may be time to panic, or at least cancel those plane tickets to Zimbabwe, which is soon coming to us.

 

The world’s largest retailer is working with suppliers to minimize the effect of cost increases and believes its low-cost business model will position it better than its competitors.

Still, inflation is “going to be serious,” Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said during a meeting with USA TODAY’s editorial board. “We’re seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate.”

Along with steep increases in raw material costs, John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, says labor costs in China and fuel costs for transportation are weighing heavily on retailers. He predicts prices will start increasing at all retailers in June. Read more…

The Oil-Food Price Shock

March 11, 2011 Comments off

thenation.com

When future historians attempt to trace the origins of the current turmoil in the Middle East, they will find that one of the earliest of the many explosions of rage occurred in Algeria and was triggered by the rising price of food. On January 5, young protesters in Algiers, Oran and other major cities blocked roads, attacked police stations and burned stores in demonstrations against soaring food prices. Other concerns—high unemployment, pervasive corruption, lack of housing—also aroused their ire, but food costs provided the original impulse. As the epicenter of youthful protest moved elsewhere, first to Tunisia and then to Egypt and other countries, the food price issue was subordinated to more explicitly political demands, but it never disappeared. Indeed, the rising cost of food has been a major theme of anti government demonstrations in Jordan, Sudan and Yemen. With the price of most staples still climbing—spurred in part by a parallel surge in oil costs—more such protests are bound to occur.

Whatever the outcome of the protests, uprisings and rebellions now sweeping the Middle East, one thing is guaranteed: the world of oil will be permanently transformed.

From crippling droughts in the Ukraine and Russia to region-shaking unrest in Tunisia, rising commodity prices and extreme weather events are already threatening Read more…

Thousands in India protest increasing food prices

February 25, 2011 Comments off

NEW DELHI — Tens of thousands of trade unionists, including those from a group linked to India’s ruling party, marched through the streets of the capital on Wednesday to protest food prices, piling pressure on a government already under fire over graft. The demonstration in New Delhi was the latest in a wave of protests sweeping across the world, including the Middle East and Africa, ignited by a worldwide spike in food prices.

India, Asia’s third-largest economy and home to more than a billion people, has been grappling with double-digit food inflation. Hundreds of millions of poor have been hit the hardest.

In one of the largest anti-government protests in New Delhi in recent years, at least 50,000 people representing trade unions from the country’s political parties marched through the center of the capital towards the parliament building. In a sea of red flags and hats bearing their union name, protesters chanted Read more…

Inflation in China rises as food prices soar

February 16, 2011 Comments off

A woman selects vegetables on a store inside a market in Beijing, China Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011.  A jump in food prices pushed China's inflation higher

Consumer prices rose 4.9 percent, driven by a 10.3 percent jump in food costs, data showed Tuesday. That was up from December’s 4.6 percent rate and close to November’s 28-month high of 5.1 percent.  Inflation is politically dangerous for Beijing because it erodes the Chinese public’s economic gains and threatens acceptance of communist rule. China’s poorest families spend up to half their incomes on food and are hit hard by price rises.

In January, the price of fresh fruit soared by 34.8 percent over a year earlier, while eggs rose 20.2 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

Adding to a squeeze on food supplies, China’s wheat-growing northeast is in the grip of a severe drought that threatens its crop. Beijing has launched a $1 billion emergency campaign of cloud-seeding to induce rains and expanded irrigation.

Also in January, inflation that so far has been confined mostly to food began to spread to Read more…