Wanneer de wereld zijn ogen zal openen voor inflatie, zullen de schellen eraf vallen.
Sommige economen vrezen nu een self-fulfilling prophecy. Wat een zeikerds. Die economen die jarenlang inflatie ontkend hebben, het nu amper nog kunnen, zullen de schuld op een zelf-vervullende voorspelling steken. Ze zullen de schuld op de schouders van de burger schuiven, want die had “irrationele inflatieverwachtingen”. Ik hoor het ze zeggen. Wat een bullshit zal het zijn. Ze zullen het blijven ontkennen.
Het zal mij niet kunnen schelen. Inflatie zal ‘ass kicken’ en goud zal compleet door het dak gaan. De massa zal volgen. Schapenvlees.
Tariffs slashed as food inflation bites
By Javier Blas in London
Published: December 16 2007 22:24 Last updated: December 16 2007 22:24
Import tariffs for major agricultural commodities, in particular cereals, vegetable oils and rice, are being slashed in an effort by developed and developing countries to cushion their local markets against rising food inflation.
The move comes as food inflation, which hit countries over the summer, shows signs of resurgence, with cereal prices rising sharply, boosted by strong demand, in particular from China, and tumbling inventories.
Turkey is the latest country to announce a reduction in custom duties, having recently cut its import tariff for wheat from 130 per cent to 8 per cent, for corn from 130 per cent to 35 per cent and scrapped the previous 100 per cent duty for barley.
The European Union – the world’s top importer of wheat and one of the largest buyers of soyabean and corn – has also announced that it will set zero import duties for cereals until next June.
This follows cuts in countries such as China, Russia, Mexico, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Egypt, Philippines, Taiwan, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Ghana and Peru. Some have said these will be short-term measures.
Ali Arslan Gurkan, head of the commodity market division at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome, said the reduction in the tariffs was the latest sign that policymakers were trying to cope with rising food costs.
“Governments are finding it politically inevitable to reduce local food prices and this situation is likely to continue,” Mr Gurkan said.
Earlier this year, Morocco cut its wheat import tariff from 130 per cent to 2.5 per cent after suffering a drought that halved its own crop.
China has cut its soyabean import tariff from 3 to 1 per cent in an effort to increase local supplies after rising food costs pushed inflation to the highest in 11 years. The reduction has boosted imports and pushed the oilseed crop price to a 34-year record.
Russia will cut its import tariff for soya oil and rapeseed oil from 15 per cent to 5 per cent this month while Nigeria is set to slash its rice import tax from 100 per cent to just 2.7 per cent at the beginning of next year.
Sorin Vasloban, of the Paris-based cereal trading house Plantureux, said: “The prices of agricultural commodities have stabilised at very high levels and countries need to resort to these measures [cutting tariffs] to control inflation.”
However, the reduction in import tariffs has been offset by higher export tariffs – which aim to help keep local markets well supplied – in several key exporting countries. Argentina this month joined the path taken earlier in the year by Russia and Kazakhstan.
The tariff cuts will not have an impact on the Doha trade negotiations, as the talks apply to bound tariffs – the legal upper limits – rather than applied duties.
The latest tariff cuts come as cereals and soyabean prices climb to new highs propelled by a warning by the US Department of Agriculture early this month that unabated demand from emerging countries is denting inventories dramatically.
In Chicago, wheat futures for March 2008 delivery rose to an all-time high of $9.79½ a bushel, just below the summer’s all-time high of $9.61¾.
Corn futures for March moved to $4.38¼ a bushel, within a whisker of a 11-year high, while soyabean for January is trading at a 34-year high of $11.54 a bushel.
Soaring food prices drive Chinese inflation to 11-year high
By Richard McGregor in Beijing
Published: December 12 2007 02:00 Last updated: December 12 2007 02:00
Chinese inflation reached an 11-year high of 6.9 per cent in November, a level that will harden Beijing’s resolve to tighten monetary policy and probably further delay energy price reform.
The inflation rate, which hit 6.5 per cent in October, is driven primarily by food prices, which rose by 18.2 per cent from a year -earlier, mainly because of a shortage of pigs and rising global feed costs.
But underlying inflation was also up to 1.4 per cent from 1.1 per cent in October – the sharpest rise this year – because of higher oil and coal prices. Utility prices, including water, electricity and gas, rose 5.6 per cent.
China economists said the continuing upward pressure on inflation was likely to prompt further government pressure on banks to control lending, as well as interest-rate rises and increases in reserve ratios, the amount banks must keep on deposit with the central bank.
The government has already refused to lift fuel prices in line with rising -global costs, and has increased subsidies to some sectors for oil as part of an array of measures to restrain inflation.
China is also expected to allow the renminbi to appreciate faster over the next 12 months in an effort to correct imbalances in the economy and reduce incentives for exporters. The trade surplus, a prime cause of excess liquidity in the economy, was $26.3bn (€17.9bn) in November, only slightly lower than the record $27.1bn, according to figures released yesterday.
Although growth in exports to the US has slowed, increases in sales to Europe, the Middle East and other markets have helped keep the surplus high.
In a potentially significant move for global trading in steel, China’s chief economic co-ordination ministry said it might impose quotas for exports next year as part of a raft of efforts to limit the trade surplus.
Steel exports are up by 55 per cent year on year in the 11 months to November and have contributed significantly to the swelling surplus. They have begun to slow in recent months because of tax imposts.
The People’s Bank of China announced last week that monetary policy would move from “stable” and “moderately tight” to “tight”, primarily because of concern over inflation and possible overheating.
China has lifted interest rates five times and reserve ratios 10 times this year, with little impact so far on either the pace of economic growth or inflation.
Mr Zhou said another reason for moving into a tightening cycle was the five-yearly change of governments in Beijing and the provinces early next year, which in the past has seen a huge jump in lending as new leaders attempt to spur growth.
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