Thursday, February 21, 2008

Food-riot watch; and: The world wants chocolate! (HSY; NSRGY)

Two from Foreign Policy's Passport blog:

Food Riot Watch

Keep your eye on soybean prices in the coming weeks:

Chicago soybean and soybean oil futures rose to records on speculation China may increase imports to curb food inflation. Corn also reached its highest ever as soaring crude oil prices boosted the appeal of biofuels.

China's soybean imports, the world's biggest, may more than double this month to about 2.5 million metric tons compared with the same period last year, the state-owned China National Grain and Oils Information Center said in an e-mailed report today.

The World Wants Chocolate!

As more people all over the world -- mostly notably in China and India -- enter the ranks of the middle class and are able to afford the calorie-rich diets of the Western world, their increased appetites have helped drive up prices of foods such as bread, milk, and chocolate, notes FP Editor in Chief Moisés Naím in his latest column, "Can the World Afford a Middle Class?"

Chocolate companies such as Nestlé*, Mars, Ferrero, and Hershey...MORE