Going Green

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Biofuel Impact on Food Prices Debate Continues

And the debate continues...

Biofuel impact on farm prices overplayed

By Sybille de La Hamaide

PARIS (Reuters) - The recent price rally in farm commodities such as grains, oilseeds and sugar beet can be attributed partly to higher biofuel demand but their share of the blame has been exaggerated, a top official of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Loek Boonekamp, a division head in the Agro-food Trade and Markets Division at the Paris-based OECD, said the surge in farm product prices -- with cereals more than doubling last year -- would have happened even without the rise in biofuel production.

"Closing your eyes and blaming...(complete article here).

Of course biofuels are having an impact on farm commodity prices. Anything that increases demand will impact price. No, it isn't the only factor affecting those prices. As always, one must consider all of the factors that have an impact -- weather, technology, input prices (profitability), etc. I think the jury is still out on whether bifuels are good, bad, or indifferent as to the overall impact on humanity -- for all of you "planet huggers," the health of the environment is meaningless without humans. However, the health of the planet is meaningful to humanity's continued survival.

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