乙醇饥渴症

发自印地安纳州西拉法叶——当今的食品价格已经在许多方面超越了2008年8月的最高点。如果说当年的价格上涨主要源自于全球食品商品需求不断上升,美元币值大幅下降,世界某些地区粮食减产以及生物能源的影响。那么最近这轮食品价格上涨的推手又是什么呢?

笔者认为驱动本轮上涨的关键因素与2008年的那些有所不同。全球对于食品和饲料的需求依然是其重要组成部分,生物能源的因素也依然存在。但两次上涨的短期和长期含义则大不相同。

随着发展中国家逐渐走向富裕,首先发生的情况就是所谓的“饮食方式转变”。在人们可支配收入不断增加的情况下,动物类产品的消费也逐步上升。而相对于以植物为主的饮食方式,动物类产品的生产需要占用更加巨大的农业资源。因此随着收入增加,对食品的需求增加得更加迅速。人口增长和饮食方式转变这两大因素都推动了更快的需求增长和更高的食品价格。

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