Soft commodities

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.

What rising food prices mean for your investments

Grain prices are rising fast. That means we’ll soon all be paying more for our food. But the fallout goes far beyond higher bread prices. John Stepek explains what the rising price of soft commodities means for the economy – and your investments.

Profit from the corn spike

Early last week it was coffee, then it was the turn of corn. Prices in the commodity jumped an impressive 10% in just one day last week – that’s the biggest daily increase since 1988.

The best way to play agricultural commodities

The world’s population is rapidly growing in both size and prosperity. And so demand for raw materials – for food and clothing – will keep rising. But with soft commodity prices so vulnerable to changes in the weather, how can you profit? John Stepek explains.

Harvest profits from agricultural growth

Global demand for food is only set to rise, and that’s good news for the companies helping farmers to keep up, says James McKeigue. Here, he tips the firms set to prosper.

Three timber funds for consistent growth

Timber is one of the few asset classes to produce consistent long-term returns. It’s also very tax-friendly, and is a fantastic inflation hedge, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Here she tips three funds for those of us who can’t quite stretch to a forest of our own.

GM foods: an unexpected European growth story

Producing higher yields and using less water than traditional varieties, GM crops could be the answer to the world’s rising demand for food. Long resisted in Europe, they have now been given a tentative thumbs up by the EU, leading to strong investment opportunities. James McKeigue explains, and tips the best bet in the sector.

Cocoa prices come to the boil

The price of cocoa hit a 33-year high last week when it hit £2,370 per tonne in London. Has it peaked or will we see a continued run for the brown stuff?

Eleven commodity assets to buy into now

Despite the depressed global economy, commodities are enjoying something of a boom. Here, John Stepek and our panel of experts discuss where they would – and would not – place their own money in today’s markets.

Sugar rush tapers off

Sugar prices doubled last year as bad weather hampered harvests and sparked a rush for supplies by importers worldwide. Now supply is bouncing back and beating expectations.

Aubergine wars reignite GM food debate

In a major blow to India’s biotech companies, the environment minister has banned GM aubergines from being grown or consumed in the country. But 14 million farmers worldwide are already using GM technology. So why all the fuss? Simon Wilson investigates.

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