Why Food Prices Are Surging

Since the beginning of the year, food prices have been on a tear.

In a new report, Morgan Stanley commodities analysts led by Adam Longson attribute the surge in prices to a number of factors, “from weather (in the case of sugar, soybeans and coffee) to disease (in the case of hogs) to geopolitics (wheat and corn).”

The Morgan Stanley analysts don’t believe this will continue.

“To date, weather concerns in South America have proven overstated, as evidenced in the recent declines in sugar prices,” they say.

“Tensions in the FSU do not appear to have disrupted grain shipments, nor do we expect them to going forward, barring further Russian incursions into Ukraine. Even disease pressures in the U.S. hog herd (though very real) should ease as we move into the warmer months.”

In the report, the analysts break down the main factors driving each agricultural commodity. Their analysis is displayed in the table below.

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