Food parity

By Thomas Macauley on

Interesting that the New Year almost brought an end to the current regime of dairy price controls… and allowed default to New Deal and earlier ‘parity’ price supports.

Milk prices would have had to be propped by Federal funds to relative/parity values of commodities from the 1910’s. This could have been something like: if gold was $20/t.oz in 1915 and milk was $0.20/gallon then our $2000/t.oz today would require $20/gallon milk. Dairy Dive averted for a while.

Ours is not like what we expect from “price control” subsidies that keep market prices low (corn in mexico, rice/salt in India). The US and others do still subsidize producers income regularly and thereby prevent market prices from falling for us food consumers.

US Cheese makers have been in the news as they lobby to maintain price subsidies for cheap wholesale milk.

Today, rice is making headlines as China surprised the world by becomimg a net importer of rice. Speculation is that their own price supports have made domestic rice too expensive. Their entrepenurial supply chain is buying and maybe stockpiling overseas rice. Another source for future supply and cost volatility.


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