Tuesday, 23 August 2011

AgroFuels: Pushing Prices of Vital Commodities Ever Higher

Priced out of the UK wood market by subsidies given to electricity generators

It seems there is a new casualty of the drive, or should that be forced march, toward biofuel; timber-based industries, and users of wood products (which is all of us). The Countryman has been hearing from the Wood Panel Industries Federation.

Alistair Kerr of WPIF says, “The government has failed to disclose to the public that generators like Drax, E.ON, RWE NPower and Scottish and Southern Energy will use the subsidy paid by taxpayers to source as much wood as they can from the UK before venturing further afield. If allowed to continue unchecked, not only are the UK’s wood processing industries at serious risk of being wiped out thereby putting at risk tens of thousands of jobs, but the forests that the British public care deeply about will be decimated – and it is the public that will have paid for it to happen.”

More here.

How high do corn prices have to be to get end-users to reduce consumption?

Scarcely credible - scarcely human - but this is the sort of question that economists, those nice men who never rape or commit foul crimes, are now amusing themselves with. Try replacing the phrase "end-users" with the word "people" and you get some idea of the (im)moral universe economists inhabit.

Southeast Farm Press reports that "This year's corn crop is not big enough to meet the entire consumption base that has been built ... [and] ... The largest competitor for corn in the coming year will be the ethanol industry where USDA analysts currently estimate 5.1 billion bushels of corn use."

After six months of peak already in 2011, the World Food Price Index looks set to continue inexorably upward from peak to peak ...

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