China Pushing Oil to $100 Per Barrell May be Bad, But $10 Per Bushel Wheat Would be Worse

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Imagine for a minute that it’s the year 2010, and China has had a bad crop year. Unlike the disaster of the late 1950s, China's newly-found industrial wealth guarantees any future food shortages there won't remain local.

Imagine for a minute that it’s the year 2010, and China has had a bad crop year. It happens. In the late 1950s China suffered a devastating famine that resulted in roughly 40 million persons starving to death. God forbid it should happen again. But if it should, the Chinese have something today they didn’t have in the 1950s: $700 billion of currency reserves with which to buy grain on the open markets of the world.

“Under such a nightmarish scenario,” explains Jim McCune, Managing Partner of Business Restoration Partners, “There’s really no way to know how high grain prices could go. The impact of such a famine would spread quickly, and be severely felt worldwide.” Of course this is a “worst case” scenario that no one expects to happen, and is unpredictable in any event. But what about current trends in China’s seemingly unquenchable appetite for resources of all kinds that ARE visible today . . . are there things we Do know about now that will have a huge impact on American business in the future? Even without a “worst case” scenario, the answer is a resounding yes.

To answer this crucial question Doane Advisory Services and Business Restoration Partners are contemplating a detailed macro/resource/financial/agricultural study on the Chinese economy that will offer guidance to just about any company that will feel the effects of developments in China. China’s supply of and demand for energy resources will be an important focus of the study, with the primary focus of the study centered on developments in China’s agricultural markets and their expected impact on world—and particularly American—agriculture.

Concerning agriculture, China’s per capita income is rising and urban residents in China are shifting to better diets that include more animal product protein. Explains Doane Advisory Service’s Chief Economist, Rich Pottorff: “Good, high quality cropland is being lost to factories, housing and parking lots. At the same time strong economic growth is causing serious pollution problems for China’s water supply while greatly increasing the demand for water. Only about a decade ago China was self-sufficient in soybean and cotton production – today they are the world’s largest importer for both crops.” Further changes are virtually assured as the dramatic evolution of 21st century China continues.

“Our initial work on China’s economy tells us that this information is critical to the success of American businesses, particularly to those involved in either the energy or agricultural industries,” says McCune, “and a big part of our impetus for doing the study is the piecemeal nature of most information available today on China . . . and the need for a linked, consistent analysis of all the interrelated pieces of the outlook for China’s economy.”

This research project is now in only its initial stage. Given the expense and effort involved in a comprehensive study such as this, the study will only go forward if there is enough interest from American businesses to proceed.

To learn more about the study, and/or to express your interest in subscribing to it, please visit http://www.business-restoration-partners.com, or contact Rich Pottorff at Doane Advisory Services by phone at (314) 372-3517.

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