Jan 09. A new crisis is emerging, a
global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than
anything the world has ever seen.
The credit crunch and the
reverberations of soaring oil prices around the world will pale in
comparison to what is about to transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio
strategist at BMO Financial Group said at the Empire Club's 14th annual
investment outlook in Toronto on Thursday. "It's not a matter of if, but
when," he warned investors. "It's going to hit this year hard."
Mr. Coxe said the sharp rise in raw
food prices in the past year will intensify in the next few years amid
increased demand for meat and dairy products from the growing middle classes
of countries such as China and India as well as heavy demand from the
"The greatest challenge to the world
is not US$100 oil; it's getting enough food so that the new middle class can
eat the way our middle class does, and that means we've got to expand food
output dramatically," he said.
The impact of tighter food supply
is already evident in raw food prices, which have risen 22% in the past