Underlying causes of the recent food price volatility are sometimes hard to discern. Below are a few examples of foods which increased greatly in price during the last year, per category. As you'll see, omnivores and vegetarians share the price pain. A steep increase in the price of eggs, because chicken feed contains corn and because shedding them is energy intensive, makes intuitive sense. Environmental and energy policy was part and parcel. Some other steep increases are, at first, surprising.
Could be water shortages be the force behind the lemon and celery price increases. Or is immigration policy a main cause?
Eggs, Grade A Doz 28.32%
Lentils Cwt 147.73%
Lemons Box 155.16%
Celery Cwt 106.01%
Ahah! Must be those futures market traders, again. Time for Congressional Hearings.
By now, many of us are aware there is a protracted drought in Northern Mexico; and that corn-based feed has become very expensive. Hence, it is no surprise that there was a 408 thousand percent increase in cattle exports from Mexico.
Get ready for some tough meat. Once these animals are gone, however, consumer beef prices will skyrocket. And, poor Mexican ranchers will be in very serious trouble.
The shift away from Saudia Arabian beef exporting probably has to do with running out of water there: it's become too precious to use for local growing of grasses and grains and raising of cattle. The export fall off in Thailand is a big mystery, however.