March 15th, 2013
A oft-repeated refrain these days concerns the absence of significant inflation reported by the government. However, those who frequent supermarkets complain about increases in food prices. A recent page in the Financial Times included the following headlines; it’s enough to turn you into a survivalist, or “prepper”, begin building a bunker and store a food hoard (click on image to enlarge):
And what’s happening to the prices of companies in the food stuffs chain? Not surprisingly their moving higher (being swept along with the rest of the market?). We usually think of food stocks as safe havens to run to when the market gets shaky but, this time, there may be some strong fundamental drivers (along with major central bankers around the world flooding the market with their currencies) behind what could turn into dramatic food inflation and higher prices for the sector (click on symbols for charts; parenthesis are yield, volatility and relative strength):
Typically, these stocks have low volatility, offer dividend yields and, with reportedly a worldwide food shortage, may be perfect places to park some money as you sit out a market correction which could come during the “go away in May” seasonal market lull.