Food And Fuel
By Xaver Y.R. Chen (yrchen) on 2015-02-06 11:29:32
With the recent interest in grains and fertilisers, and giant energy companies buying gas fields, it might be a good time to examine the two fs: food and fuel.
Investment ideas looking at long-term trends
The global population is expected to increase from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050. In terms of sheer numbers, China and India win the game. These two countries are responsible for around 40% of the worlds population. With both countries expected to be the engines of global growth over the next decade, savvy investors will have opportunities to front-run what is likely to be a time of increased demand on basics such as food and fuel.
As China and India grow wealthier, the demand for meat grows. Cattle need to be fed with grains so there will be a huge demand for fertiliser to produce the increase in the demand for cattle feed.
Did you know:
It takes 7kg of grain to produce 1kg of meat and
Nearly half of the worlds grain is used for feed.
So its not surprising to see BHP Billiton announce a takeover for Potash, a Canadian fertiliser company.
If you want to take advantage of potential growth in fertiliser companies listed on the Australian market take a look at:
Incitec Pivot (IPL) and
If you are looking for a higher risk play in the food space, Red Metal (RDM) is an explorer which has applied for 21 permits prospecting the potash-rich region of Colorado, USA.
Unfortunately the story with fish is more murky with troubled waters ahead.
Did you know:
Fish makes up around 10% of the worlds consumed calories but this is likely to decline in the future and
There has been a decline in the worlds fisheries since 1980.
While fishing companies are trying new technology, it has been fraught with high risk and big losses. Clean Seas Tuna (CSS) has seen its share price fall 60% this year due to concerns about new technology designed to help breed tuna.
Americans consume around 25 barrels of oil each per year. Compare that with China where people consume just over 2 barrels of oil each per year. Imagine if China grew to consume just one-tenth of the consumption of the US and you can see why fuel demand is going to be strong.
(Source: CIA World Factbooks, 2003-2008)
Chinas oil consumption doubled between 1994 and 2004 and has now overtaken the US as the worlds largest energy consumer.
Obviously one area which benefits from this fuel demand are oil companies such as:
Woodside Petroleum (WPL)
Santos (STO) and
Oil Search (OSH).
Another area which will benefit from this demand for energy is uranium.
Uranium prices and stocks have had a turbulent ride in the past few years prices have dropped from a high of $ US130/pound to around US$ 45/pound.
Most of the demand for uranium is expected to come from China and other countries like India, Russia and South Korea. Buyers from Asia have been on the rise in 2010 and prices are expected to follow.
In Australia, the biggest deposit of uranium is at Olympic Dam in South Australia. You can gain exposure through a diversified miner such as BHP Billiton or a specialised miner such as ERA or Paladin (PDN).
Production from world uranium mines currently supplies only 75% of the requirements of power utilities (statistic from www.world-nuclear.org) so while uranium has had a rocky ride, the rising demand from China and South East Asia is likely to fuel demand over the next decade.