Der Hunger nach Ethanol

WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA, USA – Vielfach haben die Lebensmittelpreise die bisherigen Höchststände vom Juli 2008 überschritten. Damals wurden die hohen Preise auf die steigende weltweite Nachfrage, einen massiven Wertverlust des US-Dollars, lokale Missernten und Biokraftstoffe zurückgeführt. Aber was ist heute die Ursache für die Verteuerung?

Ich glaube, dass sich die Schlüsselfaktoren für die Preissteigerungen heute von denen im Jahr 2008 unterscheiden. Immer noch eine starke Rolle spielt die steigende globale Nachfrage nach Nahrungs- und Futtermitteln sowie Biokraftstoffen. Aber die kurz- und langfristigen Begleiterscheinungen sind deutlich anders.

Wenn Entwicklungsländer reicher werden, führt dies ziemlich schnell zu einem Wandel der Ernährungsgewohnheiten. Mit steigendem Einkommen nehmen die Menschen anteilig mehr tierische Produkte zu sich. Solche tierischen Produkte benötigen in der Produktion deutlich mehr landwirtschaftliche Ressourcen als pflanzliche Nahrungsmittel. Also nimmt mit steigendem Einkommen die Nachfrage nach Agrarprodukten überproportional zu. Sowohl steigende Bevölkerungszahlen als auch diese Veränderung der Ernährungsweise tragen zu verstärktem Nachfragezuwachs und höheren Lebensmittelpreisen bei.

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