Soft commodities

How to invest in water, the world's most undervalued resource

With water shortages becoming more common, there is a desperate need for new infrastructure to bring fresh water to those that need it. Merryn Somerset Webb looks at how to invest in this undervalued resource.

Sugar prices are on the up

A sharp rise in the price of sugar has been blamed on falling production in Brazil. A lack of investment in the sugar industry there has led to older, lower-yielding sugar canes and the price rise is set to continue.

How rising food prices will affect your wealth

The world faces a decade of rising food prices. Food is becoming harder and more costly to grow, while there are ever more mouths to feed. What does it mean for investors? John Stepek explains.

Tax advice of the week: Lose the taxman in the woods

Over the past five years the number of Britons buying small woodlands has doubled. And there are good reasons for doing so. Woodland provides more than an escape from modern life, it is also a tax-efficient investment.

Fund of the week: A long-term play on agriculture

One of the big problems with investing in agriculture is volatility. And this ‘field-to-fork’ fund has certainly given investors a hairy ride, plunging 20% in its first year before returning 17% a year since then.

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.

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