Friday, February 10, 2006


How can this be possible?
A little over a year ago The Wall Street Journal (31 Jan 2005) reported that the U.S. would become a net food importer on a more or less permanent basis by the end of 2005. To me, this is an immense challenge to our food security, but also marks a great opportunity for the U.S. to rebuild its food markets. I'm interested in how others see it.

Trade data for December have not been released yet. When they are, we'll know if the Journal's prediction is true. Still, one look at USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) numbers shows the trend is upon us.

The U.S. enjoyed an agricultural trade balance of $12 billion four years ago. By November 2005, we barely had a surplus, after a slide of $5 billion in one year. It seems to be a matter of when, not if.
So - energy, food, water. Three basic necessities, and the US is an importer of all three. How long can this last?


Herbinator said...

Maybe they should invest more in agribiz?? Perhaps the World Bank will help them.

Battlepanda said...

How can we simultaneously be a net importer of food and simultaneously big-footing all those third-world farmers with our farm subsidies? I guess we managed to find a way.

Ronald Brak said...

Would that be a net importer of food in terms of dollars or in terms of calories? 'Cause I flew over America once and I saw a lot of corn, so I don't think it could be calories. I reckon the U.S. is doing things like importing a heap of coffee and doing stuff like exporting corn and reimporting the same corn in the form of corn chips. Provided you can live without coffee and willing to eat your corn in non chip form I don't think America has a food security problem.