New report out which tells us the following:
The baseline modelling indicates that the average price of staple foods could more than double in the next 20 years compared with 2010 trend prices – with up to half of the increase caused by climate change (changing mean temperatures and rainfall patterns).14 Between 2010 and 2030, average world market export prices:
• For maize could rise by 177%, with up to half the increase due to climate change;
• For wheat could rise by 120%, with around one-third of the increase due to climate change;
• For processed rice could rise by 107%, with around one-third of the increase due to climate change.
But in this report, the source, there\’s an interesting little problem.
They\’re not adjusting for the general level of inflation.
At least I cannot see that they are. They\’ve a number of charts which they do specifically label as being in constant 2004 dollars. Which is good, that\’s the way it ought to be. But that qualification is notably absent from their chart of food price rises. So I rather assume that their prognostications on food price rises are not inflation adjusted.
So, what do you reckon inflation is going to be out to 2030? 2% a year? 3% a year, summat like that? That\’s what the general targets for central banks are after all, eh?
But there\’s more! We also expect wages, incomes, to rise faster than the general inflation rate. That\’s what makes the world continuously richer after all. Indeed, Oxfam themselves say that a goodly part of the rise in food prices is going to be because those getting richer Third World peasants are going to hanker ofter a bit of meat in one or more of those newly available three squares a day.
And I do seem to recall an Oxfam report that said that the combination of all of these factors is that while food prices will rise at the same time food will become more affordable. Be a lower portion of peoples\’ incomes.
And that\’s why I hate Oxfam. They\’re tossing out figures that are so badly manipulated as to be lies.