[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Beijing: "prevent panic among the public"

Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>

Are Granholm or any members of Michigan's Renewable Fuels Commission
willing (or able) to see the writing on the wall?

Reported 2006-12-20 from Beijing:



   ...surging demand for biofuel is now partly blamed for recent 
   price hikes in the food market and for shortages in grain stocks.
   Wheat prices are at their highest level in a decade, due to poor
   harvests in key producing countries like the United States and
   Australia, while corn prices have surged by up to 20 percent in
   local markets. 

   Beijing has begun auctioning some of its wheat reserves to halt
   the rise in crops prices and prevent panic among the public. 
   Despite predictions that this year would see another bumper 
   harvest, Chinese government officials feel compelled to 
   restrict the use of corn for producing biofuel...

   As biofuel is produced from renewable biological resources, 
   what government officials worry is that possible overcapacity
   may lead to a shortage of edible grains and feedstock supplies.
   This has already happened with cornstalk used in ethanol 
   production. Cornstalk prices in China have jumped 500 percent
   to 30 US dollars per tonne since 2005.

   The same is now happening with the corn. Industrial processing
   in China consumed 23 million tonnes of corn in 2005, an annual
   increase of 16.5 percent from 2001, while corn production
   increased at the slower rate of five percent during the same
   period, according to a circular released this week by the 
   National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's
   top economic body...

In the context of London's Financial Times of 2006-11-02:


   Corn prices hit 10-year high

   Corn prices surged to a 10 year high on Thursday after private
   forecasters said the 2006 US corn crop would be lower than the
   latest government estimates...

   The current USDA corn production forecast for the US, the
   world?s largest producer, is already 2 per cent below the 2005
   level and about 7 per cent below the record 2004 year. A further
   fall in US corn production will tighten the global corn market, 
   where global inventories are near 25 year lows, and demand has
   increased more than 3 per cent in the past two years.

   A strong rise in demand for ethanol is partly responsible for
   the increase in global corn consumption.  Corn futures for 
   December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade reached a 
   peak of $3.5350 a bushel, its highest level since September
   1996 when corn prices hit $5.54 a bushel.

Some markets saw corn @ USD $4.00 the last trading day of 2006.

A little hint from Manila, last week:


   Feed millers expect a 10 percent increase in corn imports in 
   2007 to 232,000 mt from 216,000 mt in 2006 with the resurgence 
   of poultry exports to Japan, sources said.  A feed mill sector
   official said the 10 percent hike was a conservative estimate
   and could rise to as much as 20 percent...

   This year has seen the highest corn price in 10 years from less
   than a dollar to a bushel to almost $4 a bushel. This is so 
   because ethanol producers are willing to pay a premium for 
   corn.  And more farmers are willing to sell their produce for
   bio-fuel production that for feeds...

All the while, cows still want to eat, and thus we plow:


   OUTLOOK 07: Ethanol Forces Shift In Rural US Landscape

   The expanding U.S. ethanol industry is poised to alter
   the look of the land across the grain belt, possibly 
   prompting farmers to plant more of their 2007 acreage
   to corn than any other time since World War II. 

   This spring farmers planted about 78.6 million acres
   of land to corn, harvesting slightly more than 10.9 
   billion bushels of grain this fall. 
   Some 2.1 billion bushels of the 2006 corn crop are 
   expected to be consumed by the nation?s 110 ethanol plants.
   However, by the end of 2007, twice as much could be needed
   to feed 71 new or expanded plants, according to the 
   Renewable Fuels Association. 
   ?Our corn utilization next year could approach 12.5 
   billion bushels,? Hurt said. ?We can feed a little bit off 
   of our inventory, but no more than 300 million bushels. So
   we?ll probably have to produce about 12.2 billion bushels
   of corn next year.? 
   That would require an unprecedented effort, as the largest
   single corn crop ever produced in the U.S. totaled only 
   11.8 billion bushels in 2004...

   "We think there is 4-7 million acres of CRP ground that is
   corn ground. Sooner or later, we think it will come out..."

Ah, but nothing can go wrong... go wrong... go wrong...


   Wisconsin sets record for severe weather

   Randy Cook, director of Barron County's U.S. Department of 
   Agriculture Farm Services Agency, said that county usually
   produces about 130 bushels of corn per acre. Rain at the end 
   of July helped, he said, but the drought still caused the
   county's production to drop into the 70-bushel range.

   "It got knee-high and just browned up," Cook said.

How this is _not_ the lead in every news report, I can not fathom!

Tick tock, baby...


Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
UnBlinking                                   http://www.unblinking.com/
Googlewhack                                 http://www.googlewhack.com/

     The best proof for a claim that terrorists are crazy or evil
     would be to acknowledge that the White House is full of them

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"