As food prices soar, corn and soybeans have tripled in price and they’ve given agriculture exchange traded funds (ETFs) a chance for growth. But in the meantime, other industries are getting killed.
One casualty of higher food and grain costs are the catfish farmers in the South. They have been unable to keep up with the high cost of corn and soy bean feed and have no choice but to drain their ponds.
Among the reasons corn and soybean prices are so high are harvest shortfalls, demand from the Asian middle class, government mandates for corn to produce ethanol and the flooding in the Midwest, reports David Streitfeld for The New York Times.
Feed has become more than half the total cost for raising catfish, compared to one-third for pork and beef production. Catfish has become vulnerable as the economics went astray and other industries will fall victim as well.
It’s a bonanza for corn and soybean farmers, but not so much for consumers.
ETFs that could get another growth spurt as resources become more scarce:
- PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA), up 12.4% year-to-date
- iShares GSCI Commodity Index (GSG), up 28.6% year-to-date
- E TRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Agriculture (UAG), up 3.4% since April 4 inception
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.