Famed Investor Jim Rogers Says Food Shortages Coming - DailyFinance

Famed Investor Jim Rogers Says Food Shortages Coming - DailyFinance: "A severe food shortage is on its way, according to well-regarded investor Jim Rogers. Food inventories are the lowest in decades and '[m]any farmers cannot get loans to buy fertilizer now, even though we have big shortages developing,' Rogers said on CNBC.

For investors, that could mean a buying opportunity in commodities, in particular coffee and cotton, Rogers said. In fact, he says commodities are a much better buying opportunity than stocks right now."

OpEdNews - Article: Afghanistan: only the first move in the grand chess game for control of Central Asian resources

OpEdNews - Article: Afghanistan: only the first move in the grand chess game for control of Central Asian resources: "Though not being reported in the mainstream American press, there is a very intense struggle going on between the U.S. and China to determine which nation will emerge as the dominant presence in Central Asia. These two economic giants, the U.S. declining and China rapidly growing, know full well that their economic future depends entirely on their ability to acquire critical resources; in the case of the U.S., it's primarily oil, while with China it's both oil and natural gas."

Neighbors Challenge Energy Aims in Bolivia - NYTimes.com

Bolivia's neighbors are cutting their own LNG import deals and reducing dependence on gas from Bolivia. The NYT story mentions how Bolivia wanted to export LNG to Mexico and USA via Chile as well at one point.

Bolivia could face economic uncertainty if its gas exports and gas demand drops.

Neighbors Challenge Energy Aims in Bolivia - NYTimes.com: "The new gas-import ventures in Brazil and Argentina, as well as two in Chile, once a potential market for Bolivian gas, all use ship-borne imports, in which the fuel is cooled into liquefied natural gas for transport from exporting countries and reheated on delivery. This increasingly common transport method has provided substantial competition with pipelines in some markets."

China's commodity imports soar in December - washingtonpost.com

China's commodity imports soar in December - washingtonpost.com: "China ended 2009 with record monthly imports of crude oil and soybeans and a strong appetite for iron ore and copper, while its aluminum and steel sectors saw a welcome increase in export volumes.

Crude oil imports averaged more than 5 million barrels per day for a month for the first time in December, up by more than a fifth from November at 21.26 million tons, while the total for 2009 rose 13.9 percent to 203.4 million tons."

FT.com / Reports - Carbon trading: Emissions cuts at the lowest price – in theory

carbon trading might be the only optimal way out that connects different governments, regions etc in a manner that makes the financing work. taxing locally might work but it would be a very disjointed approach. emissions trading and getting the world markets to establish a carbon pricing might be the way that works for all, despite the many issues with it, including worries about how big banks and commodity traders will take advantage of it or the plethora of derivative structures that might be marketed based on the underlying carbon instrument.

FT.com / Reports - Carbon trading: Emissions cuts at the lowest price – in theory: "At Copenhagen, no firm decisions are likely to be taken on the details of how to ensure that finance is available, particularly in poor countries, to make the emissions cuts that will have to be laid out in any agreement.

Instead, world leaders are likely to sign up to a headline figure for the future financing required."

BBC News - Developing nations return to Copenhagen climate talks

talks are clearly running into problems in Copenhagen. it is evident that keeping Kyoto protocol in force and the financing issues for developing countries continue to be the major problem areas.

BBC News - Developing nations return to Copenhagen climate talks: "Talks at the UN climate summit resumed on Monday afternoon after protests from developing nations forced a suspension.
But talks have been limited to informal consultations on procedural issues, notably developing countries' demands for more time on the Kyoto Protocol.
The G77-China bloc, speaking for developing countries, said the Danish hosts had violated democratic process."

Major emitters must join climate pact: Australia | Reuters

the problem is that the UN believes that a full scale legal plan that is an alternative to Kyoto is beyond reach at the Copenhagen talks unless it was done sometime next year. what many of the countries like Australia require is a broader participation with emissions reduction responsibilities from many of the developing nations as well.

Major emitters must join climate pact: Australia
| Reuters
: "Australia fears rising temperatures will trigger more intense bushfires and greater extremes of droughts and floods, threatening crops and livelihoods. It says all major greenhouse gas emitters should sign up to legally binding steps to reduce emissions.

'This is one of those situations where we're all in it,' Australian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told Reuters in an interview."

Interior Secretary Outlines How to Use North American Continent to Combat Climate Change

as per this article in the Scientific American, the Department of Interior is pursuing the idea of using public lands as carbon sinks, to site renewable energy projects including looking at geological formations to figure out potential carbon storage sites as well as via ecosystem restoration in various locations.

Interior Secretary Outlines How to Use North American Continent to Combat Climate Change: "

COPENHAGEN--U.S. forests and soils store some 90 billion metric tons of carbon, or 50 years worth of present U.S. emissions from fossil fuels , according to a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey. As negotiators here at the United Nations' climate summit continue to struggle to draft a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions --including efforts to reduce deforestation and protect natural sinks--the U.S. Department of Interior is transforming the business of public lands and waters to help combat climate change . [More]

wholesale/bulk trading farmers markets

Jaguar trading is setting up wholesale farmers markets in quite a few locations to connect local farm produce directly to bulk buyers and consumers eager to buy bulk quantities at wholesale prices. This is another component of making local, sustainable, distributed farm produce available at low prices to the consumers while improving the margins and earnings of the local farmers.

The wholesale markets also allow local produce- fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts etc to be connected directly to larger end buyers facilitated by Jaguar Trading's farm network. The overall savings in the chain via aggregation, better storage, transport and overall logistic options, central, larger scale buyers can quickly add up, reducing waste, losses and improving earnings for farmers and end buyers. Additional benefits are in the carbon savings, lower embedded energy as a result of savings in distance, better management from farm to plate and increased local sale options for produce otherwise stranded with small farmers.

Small farmers in many locations have been a victim of their size, distance from markets, lack of buying or selling power etc. When the same farmer is part of the Jaguar farm network and utilizes the wholesale farmers market to sell his/her produce, the price discovery is much better, the chance to be abused by chain of middlemen is much lower. Also, with increased chance to have direct contact with end buyers in the marketplace, the farmer learns more about the consumer tastes, issues with the produce, shifting demands for different produce etc.

Small farmers are also able to procure other goods and services, farming inputs etc while attending wholesale markets, also a good location for such goods and services including seeds, seedlings, fertilizers etc.

carbon trading markets in the dumps, waiting for clarification on regulations

carbon credit trading volumes are very depressed as are the prices. quite a few trading schemes have been floated in the past year or so but even the more established ones like the Chicago Climate Exchange and the European emissions trading are not faring well. 

prices per ton on CCE have had huge drops and volumes are stagnating. partnerships established in other countries haven't taken off and many continue to be on paper, waiting for clarifications. meanwhile, the arguments and debates go on and some as the recent issues with UN canceling/suspending funding for some wind power projects in China and the rejected climate legislation in Australia as well as increased scrutiny of carbon trading practices in Europe and elsewhere hasn't helped with the state of the market.

One would assume that polluters could use the current highly depressed prices to load up on carbon credit futures but it doesn't seem to be the case. most are still waiting.

heavyweight Brazil suggests including limited REDD

after prolonged internal consultations with its Amazon states, it seems that Brazil is going to support a limited form of REDD- limiting the % that industrialized countries can buy forest offsets to 10% of their emission targets. this would greatly reduce the size of the forest credit market and also force many of the developed countries to look elsewhere to purchase credits. 

for the longest time, Brazil wasn't interested in participating in the forest driven carbon credit market and was opposed to the very idea of trading carbon credits. that has changed somewhat but still with major curbs in place. will that keep the country out of the forest carbon markets at the cost of other regional countries with smaller forest resources taking bigger share of projects? 

it also means less credits available to go around for the utilities to purchase and resulting increase in the value of these credits. it also means, clean energy technologies will need more spending in order to get the emissions to be reduced else many of the polluters could face a steep bill. so basically, if a country set a target to reduce emissions by 25%, only 2.5% of that could be from purchase of forest credits.

related links here:

oil prices down sharply

the oil inventories as reported by the US EIA showed an increase in inventory by 2.1 million barrels of crude oil, casting doubt on the economic recovery in the US and resulting in a sharp drop of crude oil prices on the Nymex.

The refinery utilization rate has dropped below 80% amidst rising gasoline inventories and lower utilization of crude oil at refineries.crude oil has stayed in a range between 70 and $82 per barrel. prices are expected to stay under some pressure with good supplies and somewhat stagnating demand. economic activity is picking up in India and China both for manufacturing sector and farming sector. Oil producers are expecting that the expanding economies in Asia will bolster crude prices further.

trading

jaguar trading is heavily involved in the trading, logistics and supply chain of various food and energy commodities including grains, oilseeds, agricultural products, various food ingredients etc. the desk works with partners in many of the developing countries where the supply sources are located and provides the trading platform, supply distribution and logistics.

energy trading

our trading desk deals in both physical and financial trades in various grades of crude oil, refined products-gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil and fuel oil, bunker fuel etc. we assist clients in hedging and structuring deals as well, along with advisory work.

our traders have a long history in oil & products trading, marketing, origination and structuring. we deal with many of the major oil companies, refineries, shippers, airlines, transport companies, commodity funds etc.

we have been increasingly sourcing physical crude oil- both sweet, sour and heavy grades from West Africa and South America and placing them via one off shipments and longer/term contracts into refineries around the world.

can paper & pulp companies be a REDD partner in saving forests?

It seems that some large paper and pulp industrial players have been looking very actively into UN carbon programs that would reward countries for conserving their standing forests and also for reforestation activities. REDD is being actively pushed and is most likely to be included in some form in the Copenhagen talks. Deforestation will be a part of this effort and so could go a long way in bringing in new players into managed forestry, forest plantations, reforestation and afforestation along with agroforestry and other initiatives.

Paper and pulp companies in places like Indonesia and Brazil are trying to stay at the forefront of this by proposing some very bold and ambitious plans and of course this is bringing in a lot of criticism from environmental and other conservation groups.

An interesting story appears in the New York times covering this in detail.

potential for forests via emerging carbon credit markets

Whether it is forest management groups that operate concessions or conservation groups that are working on their own or in cooperation with forestry teams and trading desks like jaguar trading, the carbon locked in existing trees, new plantations, and carbon stored via reforestation and afforestation initiatives will at some point hold value.

The idea is to be able to capture some of this value via the carbon credit markets that are still evolving and transfer some of the gains to the local communities and economy. This can help communities that reside in some of the forest regions especially in tropical rain forests and otherwise are dependent on subsistence forestry and farming activities.

It's interesting to note that some of the regions being looked into had few trees standing, old trees and stumps, few trees left standing for their low quality timber value and often grassland that is left behind. The logs have been mostly harvested and sold for lumber. The forest teams have established new growth trees often via local tree nurseries.

At present, the carbon credits are not being monetized but as the carbon markets evolve and subject to carbon trading friendly legislation being passed, the value of the locked carbon will be gradually captured. Carbon capture in the trees is a climate friendly solution and hence the push from many groups to plant more trees and forest plantations.

biomass/wood pellet mills

Jaguar trading has invested in biomass/wood pellet mills in several countries in West Africa. the team is now looking at other locations in South America to set up its own wood pellet mills. The team has access to a number of sources of low-quality wood, wastes from saw mills, agricultural wastes and biomass feedstock of certain plantations it has been involved with. 

Jaguar trading believes that the need for biomass feedstock in co-firing in thermal coal plants will increase as the carbon trading regime takes hold and the price of carbon emissions keeps increasing. Presently, the cost of shipment and logistics involved doesn't justify shipping biomass pellets but the trading team believes that the situation will change in the near future. At that stage, having wood pellet mills will help the team source renewable biomass feedstock to be sent out as pellets.

cashew nut processing plant

Jaguar trading is talking to a variety of partners about potentially setting up a raw cashew nut processing plant in South America. The trading desk works with quite a few suppliers in cashew nut producing countries in West Africa. The nuts are presently shipped to processing plants mostly in India and occasionally connecting them to processing plants in Brazil and Vietnam.

The carbon footprint of the final product is pretty high as is the embedded energy, considering long distances involved in the shipment of raw nuts from West Africa to India and shipment of finished products to markets in North America. The trading desk has been in discussions with a number of its partners that have ownership interests in processing plants and experienced teams.

Jaguar trading is in discussions with a couple of countries in South America to potentially site its cashew nut processing factory.

edible nuts

Jaguar trading is actively involved in the sourcing, supply and trading of a variety of edible nuts including peanuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts etc. while this is not the mainstream business of the trading desk and its affiliate offices, the team has been expanding into the sector considering the increasing demand for these nuts the desk talks to quite a few clients in the value chain that require steady supply of these nuts and who turn to our trading team to get them high quality nuts at good prices

sustainable food production

jaguar trading  is committed to developing technologies for sustainable production of food in urban and rural settings. meeting the food needs of a growing, urban centric population requires continuous development and growth of projects, new ideas etc, all this while keeping a close eye on the renewable aspects, carbon foot print, embedded energy, logistics, processing and costs/scalability.

we are working with a variety of organizations to actively promote these technologies on the ground. we try to rapidly take an innovative design to prototype stage. current ideas being developed include various hydroponics and aquaponics applications; scalable/distributed production of biopesticides and bio fertilizers; mobile food processing, interesting ideas with irrigation, water conservation, rain water harvesting, carbon farming, cost effective and low carbon storage, logistics and distributed energy production and utilization in food production...

renewable energy

jaguar trading works with multiple  technology partners in selecting, helping develop and apply renewable energy technologies in its food and energy production deals. several cost effective solutions have been applied in its projects in developing countries that has helped generate local wealth while expanding commodity exports.

the team based in nyc stays in constant touch with the current development in the renewable energy space and is always on the lookout for cost effective, scalable solutions that could be tested on its sites in developing nations. mvp believes in monitoring technology risks and the constant changes going on in this space so as to select solutions that can scale up food and energy production in poor countries.

current areas of interest include biomass production for gasification, pyrolysis, potential ethanol and diesel from biomass, simple pellets/briquettes/co-firing biomass with coal, solar power concentrators, small/distributed hydro power, small scale wind etc.

some current research activities

Here are some interesting ideas currently being developed by mvp network members:

  • distributed,modular power/fuel generation
  • designer biochar
  • stabilization of pyrolysis oil
  • aquaponics/hydroponics
  • small-scale wind
  • solar concentrators
  • vertical farming
  • Modular/green construction
  • repurposing of used shipping containers
  • urban farming
  • mobile biopesticide and biofertilizer labs
  • recycling plastics for fuel
  • Modular, pre-fab housing

cashew nuts

cashew demand is increasing in North America, Europe and Japan. The production hasn't kept up in Africa and Asia. Demand for raw cashew nuts has been on the rise. It is increasingly being used alongside number of healthy substitutes to replace carbon and energy intensive meat and dairy products.

jaguar trading is working with partners in West Africa to promote additional acreage plantings of cashew. it also assists local traders and farming groups in placing their produce into cashew nut processing plants especially in India. jaguar trading is also providing access to markets in the US, Japan and countries in Europe to the cashier nut processing plants in India and elsewhere.

The team is able to source raw cashew nuts from a number of sources in West Africa and connects them to markets in India and elsewhere. It is also investing in the processing of the raw nuts to produce cashew kernels. these kernels are then placed into end-users in a variety of markets.


about

jaguar trading is a global commodities trading boutique based in New York City financial district; the team is actively trading in commodities [grains, softs, cash crops etc.], food products, energy [oil and gas, power, coal etc.], focus on renewable energy deals etc.;

The deal origination and transaction development covers trading as well as large scale commodity production in developing countries in both plantation and distributed setting; clear focus is on sustainable and cost-effective technologies/solutions towards large-scale commodity production with continuous effort to lower carbon footprint and embedded energy.