Oil prices driving food prices up

While the defenders of the status quo, the no-energy-of-any-type, and the blame-America-first crowds propagate the myth that biofuels production (and specifically US ethanol production) is driving up food prices, some people are setting the record straight:

[Capt Dr Samai Jai-in, an alternative fuel specialist with the Royal Thai Navy] said calls to limit biofuel development to help keep food prices low were misplaced.

He said recent price increases for rice and other staple grains were due to speculation by commodities traders as well as higher costs for key farm inputs such as fertiliser and pesticides.

Global oil prices have risen by 742 percent over the past decade, compared with 161 percent for cassava, 117 percent for rice, 158 percent for palm oil and 115 percent for sugar…

Capt Samai said it was wrong…to blame rising food prices on alternative fuel production.

In Thailand, he noted that ethanol was primarily generated from byproducts of palm oil, cassava and molasses. “The UN should consider the root cause. Crude oil prices are the main problem, as it hurts all sectors,” he said.

“Given that fact, the UN should be calling on oil-producing countries to help curb food prices by cutting oil prices. But cutting biofuel development is totally the wrong idea. … Wealthy oil producers, who have already benefited significantly from high oil prices, should allocate some of their money to help poor countries, such as Africa.”

Comments are closed.