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Global Food Supply Crises May Worsen Due To Poor US Harvest

Global Food Supply Crises May Worsen Due To Poor US Harvest

Authored by Bryan Jung via The Epoch Times,

U.S. agriculture has been facing…

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Global Food Supply Crises May Worsen Due To Poor US Harvest

Authored by Bryan Jung via The Epoch Times,

U.S. agriculture has been facing a poor harvest this year, aggravating the global food supply crisis, industry executives have said.

The supply of food worldwide has been tight, since Russia’s war in Ukraine cut off vital shipments of resources needed to make fertilizer and grain products from the region.

Several high-level executives from big agricultural firms such as Bayer, Corteva, Archer Daniels Midland, and Bunge, told The Wall Street Journal that it will take at least two more years of good harvests in North and South America to ease the supply pressures.

“The current market expectation is that global grain and oilseeds markets need two consecutive normal crop years to stabilize global supplies,” said Chuck Magro, chief executive of Corteva, at an investor presentation this week.

This year’s grain harvest has fallen below normal yields in the West, hindering efforts to restock global crop supplies he explained.

The United States and South America, two of the world’s major crop exporters,  faced persistent drought conditions this summer.

The hot summer worsened drought conditions in states throughout the U.S. Grain Belt, which saw a major reduction in the harvest due to lack of water and a wet spring planting season earlier in the year.

The Agriculture Department announced on Sept. 12, that it had lowered its nationwide corn production estimates to 13.9 billion bushels.

This is 3 percent lower than its projections in August, about 8 percent lower than the total amount harvested last year.

Projections for soybean production estimates in September were down 3 percent from August, down slightly from 2021.

Maintaining a Food Truce

Global recession fears have also weighed on food commodity markets and the prolonged conflict in Ukraine has not helped matters.

Wheat price futures at the Chicago Board of Trade have risen 17 percent over the past 12 months, according to the WSJ.

Corn is up by about 28 percent, while soybeans jumped 14 percent.

Food prices skyrocketed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Crop prices began to ease after a July agreement between Russia and Ukraine—brokered by Turkey through the United Nations—allowed more than a million tons of grain stored in Ukraine to be exported via the Black Sea.

Around 15 percent of grain stocks in Ukraine have been lost since the invasion in February, according to the Ukraine Conflict Observatory, a U.S.-based NGO.

Ukraine was only able to export about 40 percent of the grain it normally shipped during that period before the Black Sea agreement, according to Juan Luciano, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, at a September investor conference.

A combine harvests wheat in a field near the village of Zghurivka, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv region, Ukraine on Aug. 9, 2022. (Viacheslav Musiienko/Reuters)

Luciano said the deal has allowed the country to boost shipments to about 60 percent of previous capacity and that it could be boosted to 80 or 90 percent if the agreement holds.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin, said earlier this month, that his country may pull out of the deal, accusing the West of diverting Ukrainian grain to their own countries instead of allowing it to arrive in countries in the developing world that needed it most.

Putin’s statement led to the latest jump in wheat prices, which had been declining since the deal.

Western leaders immediately accused the Kremlin of spreading misinformation about the destination of Ukrainian grain that was to be shipped out of the Black Sea

“Contrary to Russian disinformation, this food is getting to Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” said European Commission President Charles Michel at a U.N. conference.

Russian officials said that items in the agreement that allowed their country to sell its fertilizer and other agricultural products amid sanctions were being violated.

Experts are warning that disruptions in fertilizer shipments due to the war are seriously affecting harvests around the world.

Agriculture executives have strongly urged that the deal be renewed by late November when it expires, to avoid pressure on global food stockpiles.

Global Food Crisis

The U.N.’s Global Food Security Summit on rising food insecurity on Sept. 20, warned of a devastating crisis next year if the war continues.

Representatives from the United States joined officials from the European Union and the African Union to discuss the effect of the conflict in Ukraine on food prices.

“As we’ve seen over the last years as a result of Covid, before that climate change and, more recently, conflict—notably Russia’s aggression against Ukraine—profound food insecurity touches well over 200 million people on this planet, including, of course, in Yemen,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who urged renewal of the Black Sea agreement.

The executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, David Beasley, told the U.N. Security Council last week, that the world is now facing “a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude,” with a real risk of “multiple famines” this year.

He said that 345 million people are facing starvation, with 70 million directly affected by food shipments disrupted by the war in Ukraine.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said that while enough food is being produced worldwide, the main problem was distribution.

This summer, UNICEF and the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, said that between 702 and 828 million people were impacted by hunger last year, due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Guterres stated that if the current situation in Ukraine does not stabilize in 2022, “we risk to have a real lack of food” by 2023.

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/23/2022 - 06:30

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Economics

Why WWE could be a good stock to buy/hold in October

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:WWE) remains in defensive mode as the stock market crumbles. A year-to-date return of 37.40% makes the stock one…

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World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:WWE) remains in defensive mode as the stock market crumbles. A year-to-date return of 37.40% makes the stock one to hold for value preservation. This article finds WWE a good stock to trade when keenness and proper risk management are exercised.

WWE, as it is popularly known, is an integrated media and entertainment entity. It’s known for wrestling promotion, but related fields of film and American football widen its scope. 

Just like other entertainment companies, WWE was grounded by the Covid-19 disruption. As recovery began, the stock has never looked back. It has acted as a true momentum stock while maintaining an uptrend since the beginning of the year. There are clear fundamentals too.

In its second quarter, the company’s net revenue rose 24% to $328.2 million or £309.6 million. The revenue was above $322.4 million or £304.15 estimates. The earnings per share increased from $0.42 to $0.59. The company projects “strong revenue growth” in the third quarter. The raised guidance reflects rising content monetization, local media rights fees, and international ticket sales increases. 

WWE touches the bottom of the ascending channel

Source – TradingView

On the daily chart, momentum is weak on WWE as it corrected to $67. However, we can see that WWE is still maintaining the upside channel. 

Should you buy WWE

WWE has maintained momentum and recovers each time it hits the bottom of the ascending channel. The stock is a buy at the current level, preferably after recovering above the 50-day MA. Short-term traders can exit at the top of the ascending channel.

The post Why WWE could be a good stock to buy/hold in October appeared first on Invezz.

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Economics

Cities With Good Neighbors Have Lower-Than-Average Home Values

New York’s Rochester was identified took the top spot as the most neighborly city in the country.

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New York's Rochester was identified took the top spot as the most neighborly city in the country.

Many want the kind of neighbor who will stop by with fresh-baked cookies, offer gardening tips and take out the mail while they're away — a thing that, if you live in an urban mecca like New York, is just as likely as finding a spacious apartment that's available and within budget.

In honor of National Neighbor Day on Sept. 28, self-storage company Neighbor.com identified Rochester in the Finger Lakes region of New York state as the most neighborly city in the country.

The study analyzed both big and small cities through factors such as resident happiness levels and number of people volunteering their time to the community.

"It's not a surprise that Rochester is the most neighborly city this year, it's made this list each year," Joseph Woodbury, CEO and co-founder of Neighbor.com, said of the findings. "Oftentimes, we connect hospitality with small cities, but you’ll find that people in large cities are just as likely to go out of their way to help one another."

Correlation Between Neighborliness and Home Values

While Federal Reserve economic data pegs the median price of homes sold in 2022 at $428,000, the median list price identified by Realtor.com for Rochester is $150,000. 

Madison, Wis., and Provo, Utah followed Rochester as the most "neighborly" cities in the U.S. and have respective median list prices of $360,000 and $495,000.

Along with Provo, California's Oxnard breaks the list's mold with its high real estate prices — amid proximity to the beach (the city is about 60 miles from Los Angeles) and quaint Victoria architecture, the city has a median list price of $794,500.

Getty Images

Other cities on the list generally fall below the national average for a standard single-family home. Grand Rapids in Michigan has a median list price of $307,500 while that number is only $175,000 in Milwaukee, Wis.

Harrisburg, Pa., and Des Moines, Iowa are two other neighborly cities with respective list prices of $215,000 and $227,500. 

Good neighbors have long been a hallmark of smaller cities with a quieter way of life — metropolises like New York and Los Angeles have very high property values, they are not exactly known for being "friendly" or "welcoming."

With a median list price of $495,000, North Carolina's Raleigh is the largest city to make the list.

Those who think New Yorkers are unfriendly need only to look outside the five boroughs — with a median list price of $334,000, Poughkeepsie also made the list for its neighborliness.

Search For the Next Big Real Estate City

As sleepy towns that paint a TV image of "neighborliness" tend to have lower demand, they may not offer the kind of real estate growth potential that many investors are specifically looking for. 

But exceptions do exist — many small cities are currently in the midst of a real estate boon and, subsequently, an explosion in real estate values.

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According to the study's authors, many homebuyers looking to move have specifically started looking for "friendlier" cities after the pandemic and are driving up demand for formerly quiet places.

Realtor.com identified Utah's Salt Lake City, Idaho's Boise and Washington state's Spokane as 2022's fastest-growing real estate markets.

"Being neighborly goes beyond a friendly wave while driving down the street or offering to water plants while on vacation," Woodbury said. "To be neighborly is opening yourself up to building relationships and ultimately a community that is rooted in compassion, trust, and care."

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Economics

Here’s Why Your Boss May Reject Your Business Travel Request

People are taking vacations again, but a once dominant travel sector is struggling to recover.

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People are taking vacations again, but a once dominant travel sector is struggling to recover.

Now that vaccines are readily available and President Joe Biden has declared that the pandemic is officially over, people are flying again. But they’re really not happy about it.

The research firm J.D. Power found that last year, when the airline industry first started to cautiously rebound, consumer satisfaction with airports reached an all-time high. But this was very likely both because of a relatively smaller sample size and that so many people were happy to fly again that they were willing to overlook a lot of what has become headache-inducing about modern airfare travel.

J.D. Power  (JD) - Get JD.com Inc. Report has found that this year, global passenger levels are nearly back up to 91% of pre-pandemic levels. 

Customer satisfaction has dropped sharply, 25 points on a 1,000-point scale, to 777, as more people have returned to airports, for reasons ranging from an increase in flight cancellations and delays to inflation-driven increases in the cost of airport food.

But while airlines are aware that customers aren’t happy, and that the Biden Administration might try to right the ship with proposals that airlines likely won’t care for, at least people are flying again.

But an additional survey by J.D. Power has revealed that while people are flying again, traveling for business (be it for in-person meetings or industry conferences), has been lagging behind and recovering at nearly the rate of traveling for pleasure. 

Is Traveling for Business on the Way Out?

J.D. Power’s research has found that many travelers doubt that travel levels will increase dramatically from where they are now, and that “a strong majority of executives believe their companies will spend less in the next six months compared to the same period in 2019, for instance, due to things like fewer trips overall or fewer employees sent when there is a trip scheduled,” according to their data.

Overall, business travel has returned to “about 81% of 2019 levels,” notes Managing Director Michael Taylor. “83% was our prediction for this quarter, we’ll see how well we did in a few weeks and add a predication for Q4.”

J.D. Power

Fears of recession and the rising costs of air tickets from inflation play a factor in the decline of business travel. But overall, the main reason is that many of us have gotten so used to working at home that two-thirds of employees would rather find a new job than go back to the pre-pandemic status quo. If employees feel they can get work done from home and don’t feel like braving traffic to return to the office, why would they feel they need to get on a plane?

So have services like Zoom (ZM) - Get Zoom Video Communications Inc. Report and Slack made the business trip redundant? Taylor has his doubts.

“But will people be meeting exclusively in the 'Metaverse' rather than in person? I do not think that will happen,” he says. “There is too much information to be gathered in face-to-face meetings, spoken and unspoken, to be replaced completely by virtual ‘reality.’”

Getty Images

So is This It for Business Travel?

Back in the heady pre-pandemic days three years ago, airlines could rely on the extra income from people whose jobs entailed a great deal of travel, and who had come to the realization that if they were going to spend a chunk of their lives on the road, they could splurge to make it a more comfortable experience. 

But if airlines want this sector to return, Taylor thinks it’s their duty to make it a more appealing option, because frequent delays and other headaches are enough to make anyone stick to Zoom.

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Airlines, Taylor says, must “create more of a “living room” experience for travelers, one that “makes travelers feel valued as patrons of the airlines, and makes people feel like individuals rather than cattle.”

Because while it’s hard to argue with the convenience, Taylor insists there is still something to be said for the occasional in-person meeting. 

“Millenia of evolution in mankind has created an awareness that can’t be described with words on a page or pixels on a screen,” he says. “People will still find advantages in meeting in-person rather than online.”

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