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Impact of Iceland volcano and crops

Mr. T

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Icelandic Volcano Could Impact European Crops- Repeat of 1783 Famine




The eruption of the volcano system at the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier in Iceland has been impacting flights in northern Europe. The eruption to date is not enough to impact the outlook for crops in Europe, but if it were to continue to blow for the next few months, European supplies of wheat and oilseeds could be seriously impacted effecting world prices and major companies' results.




While the eruptions of the volcano system at the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier (please do not ask me to pronounce that) has already caused major disruptions to flights in Northern Europe, and closed London's airports for the second day in a row, it is way too early to talk about crop damage in Europe. But it is not too early to look at what could happen if the eruptions were to continue for several months or even years as has happened in the past.


A major eruption, could impact global weather, hut this is not a major one, yet. It could cause famine in Europe as occurred in 1783 tied to a major crop failure due to a miserable summer thanks to the Laki Volcano eruption in Iceland. That might have even have influenced the onslaught of the French Revolution. (See this historical editorial:


Iceland Volcano Covers Europe in Ash: Lessons from History

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=115317). In 1816 Mount Tamboa in Indonesia blew and it was the Year without a Summer.


The world cn ill afford a crop failure in the major crop growing areas of Europe. The current surplus of wheat would disappear in months and the impact from a drop in rapeseed, sunflower and other oilseeds would push up palm oil and soybean oil prices.


In Europe major multinational grain and oilseed processing companies including Cargill, ADM, Gelncore, Bunge and Dreyfus would all be impacted, with their European operations losses being offset by gains from other regions that would cover the European shortfall.. Animal feed companies such as Provimi and Nutreco would see their ingredient prices go through the roof, leaving their customers less competitive against foreign imports. Large food companies such as Nestle and Unilever would also see their operations in Europe negatively impacted by a regional famine.


It is too soon to think of a crop failure, but if you were waiting for a flight this week at Heathrow, you might think that chicken little was right.




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