Soft commodities

Buy this beaten-up consumer staple now

This consumer stock has taken a kicking from a savage price-war in the last few years but now is back on track. It is one of the best ways to protect yourself from inflation, says Paul Hill.

The commodities boom is not over - buy on the dips

Commodities are becoming scarcer, but as resources get harder to come by, opportunities crop up for canny investors. John Stepek looks at the key influences on commodities prices, and picks the best investments to buy now.

Harvest bumper profits from agriculture

As the global population rises and climate change begins to bite, improvements in agricultural methods are needed to feed an increasingly hungry world. James McKeigue looks at the farming industry, and picks the best investments to buy now.

The sell-off of England's forests

The government wants to sell off much of England’s publicly owned forest, turning the Forestry Commission from an owner of woodland into a regulator. But the idea has sparked strong opposition across the political spectrum. Simon Wilson looks at what the government hopes to achieve, and weighs up the arguments for and against.

How spread betters can profit from chocolate

Chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa is getting rapidly more expensive. It’s up 12% so far this year. Tim Bennett explains how to play the price rises with a spread bet.

What's driving the latest surge in food prices?

Food prices now are higher than in 2007 and 2008 – when shortages led to rioting in several countries around the world. John Stepek looks at what’s causing the price rises, and what investors should do.

Corn rockets to a two-year high

Last Monday, the price of corn notched up its biggest daily gain since 1973 – reaching almost $5.60 a bushel.

Protect your portfolio from rising food prices

Britain’s economy is slowing, but inflation remains stubbornly high. And as rising grain prices push up the cost of food, life will become yet more expensive for all of us. John Stepek explains what’s going on, and the best way to protect yourself.

Grain prices could be heading higher – permanently

Although many ‘soft’ commodities have hit fresh highs this year, prices tend to fall back as supply is ramped up. But a permanent shift in demand could soon make cheap food a thing of the past. John Stepek explains why.

Soaring food prices will fall to earth again soon

Rocketing food prices across the globe have been causing widespread fears of another food crisis. But the price rally does not look set to last.

Can rice bounce back from its record lows?

Rice has been one of the worst performers in the commodity complex this year, down 25%. But could a price spike be on the cards?

Forget grain - buy tractors instead

While global demand for food will only increase, investing in soft commodities is fraught with danger. So it’s better to put your money into the tools that increase food production than into the foods themselves, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

How you can profit from BHP Billiton's big bet on agriculture

One of the best ways to profit from rising demand for food is to invest in firms that increase crop yields. That fact hasn’t escaped mining giant BHP Billiton, which has made a $39bn bid for Canada’s Potash Corp. John Stepek explains what’s going on, and how you can cash in.

Will wheat prices keep soaring?

Having gone nowhere for most of the year, wheat prices are now rocketing. Is this a rally that is set to continue?

How Russian wildfires could lead you to profit

Wildfires are devastating Russia’s crops. And as the Kremiln blocks wheat exports, the price of bread is set to soar. But Bengt Saelensminde isn’t convinced we’re going to see rampant inflation any time soon.

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