Time of inflation all over!

Last updated on Oct 23, 2007

Posted on Oct 23, 2007

It is the season for inflation all over the place and around the world!

The shipping world is facing inflation:

The cost of shipping raw materials across the world’s oceans has reached an all-time high, pushing up prices of grain, iron ore, coal and other commodities.
The average price of renting a ship to carry raw materials from Brazil to China has nearly tripled to $180,000 a day from $65,000 a year ago. In some cases, ocean shipping can be more expensive than the cargo itself. Iron ore, for example, costs about $60 a ton, but ship owners typically are charging about $88 a ton to transport it from Brazil to Asia.
The trend may force manufacturers to pay more for the basic ingredients they need to make their products. And those higher costs could be passed on to consumers, affecting the price of everything from automobiles and washing machines to bread.

Food is facing inflation, specially in the emerging markets:

Higher food prices in Brazil, Russia, India and China are seen keeping their inflation pressures on the boil, with effects filtering through into other consumer goods and services, Goldman Sachs said on Thursday.
Structural factors behind rising food prices in the so-called BRICs nations, including higher incomes and demand for alternative energy sources, is expected to sustain rises in prices for grain, meat, eggs and dairy products. Basic prices for agricultural commodities have spiked sharply in developed and emerging markets in recent months, with wheat prices alone more than doubling in the United States and Europe to hit record highs.

Milk prices in particularly have been higher – in Europe, Australia and the US:

The average retail price of a gallon of whole milk has never been higher — $3.80 a gallon — according to July Department of Agriculture statistics. Experts blame the price spike — up 51 cents since February — on milk shortages in Europe and Australia.
Prices are approaching $5 a gallon in Georgia, where on a sweltering summer day last week, about 100 children and parents toured Mark Cagle’s dairy farm north of Atlanta.

Heck, even drugs – narcotics – are getting expensive! Drugs are on a … er.. high! You would be better off investing in a cocaine index than the stock market index!

People who are opposed to the legalization of drugs should consider the following: cocaine is having a better year than the stock market.
This fun fact courtesy of WallStreetFighter paints a very grim picture of the War on Drugs. Addicts are paying more for less-pure Bolivian marching powder. From January through June, the average price per gram of domestic cocaine purchases rose 24% from $95.89 to $118.70, while purity fell. Retail (involving 10 grams or more) prices rose 15% while “mid-level” wholesale prices surged 33% and wholesale (1 kilogram or more) prices jumped 11%.

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