Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sitaram Yechuriji, come take away all these loonies

E Gawd! There they go again. The American administration has kicked our Pavlovian media dogs in the balls again. For several hours now they(the allegedly 'news' channels) have been bleating about how Bush is now blaming India and China for the rise in oil prices after blaming our emiciated populace for the food crisis earlier(that was was the first kick). So we are now told that Bush has come up with this unique theory that on one else believes in: in fact Sitaram Yechury called America insane for suggesting that India and China might be, um...connected to the rise in price of of oil.

That means no rest for me. No time to ogle at generous female forms on the wilder side of the net. Now I will have to put on my SuperBlogger pyjama suit and get to work. So here goes.

Yechuriji, bring in a large van from the nearest lunatic asylum, for these people will be climbing aboard along with Bush-

Meghnad Desai, The Times of India, 1 May 2008-
The oil price rise is driven almost entirely by China's demand and the chaotic politics of Nigeria and Venezuela.

Mark Shenk at Livemint(a Hindustan Times publication), Apr 21 2008-
Traffic jams in Beijing and air conditioners in Dubai are replacing US highways and suburbs as the driver of global oil prices.

China, India, Russia and West Asia for the first time will consume more crude oil than the US, burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year, an increase of 4.4%, according to the International Energy Agency, or IEA, in Paris. US demand will contract 2% to 20.38 million barrels daily, IEA says.

Kiran Kabtta, TNN(Times of India),28 Apr, 2008-
Nevertheless, the overall demand for crude oil continues to grow, especially in large, emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil, as well as West Asian countries.

Manas Chakravarty and Mobis Philipose at Livemint, Apr 18 2008-
Although world growth may be slowing, growth in countries such as China and India continues to remain robust and it’s the demand from these countries that’s going to keep commodity prices high.

Moira Herbst, BusinessWeek, August 3, 2007-
Unlike in previous periods, the main driver in the recent price boost is not a war, a hurricane, or the machinations of OPEC, but rather robust global economic growth, say analysts. The U.S. economy has remained solid, despite jitters in the stock market. China and India are surging, while most of Europe is strong.

ExpressIndia(from the Indian Express group), January 21, 2008-
Voracious demand for oil, iron ore and other commodities to build roads, sewage systems, and office buildings - especially in the booming economies of China and India – will also help sustain the region through any US slowdown.

Rick Newman, USA Today,March 10, 2008
Although I doubt that this is as important as other factors driving up the price of oil—such as strong growth in parts of the world such as China and India.

Another important issue is that in a lot of countries, like India, China, Indonesia, and some Arab countries, the price of oil and gasoline is subsidized, to keep the domestic price low, usually to prevent social unrest. That matters because if oil prices were allowed to be set at market prices, demand would fall, and so would prices. So demand in those places is artificially high.

Jad Mouawad
, The International Herald Tribune, April 28, 2008-
At the same time, oil consumption keeps expanding at a faster clip than production. Demand is forecast to increase this year by 1.2 million barrels a day, to 87.2 million barrels a day. Consumption has actually fallen a bit in theUnited States, the world's biggest consumer, as the country grapples with an economic slowdown.

But that drop is being offset by growth in other countries. World consumption is projected to rise 35 percent, to around 115 million barrels a day, in the next two decades. Most of the growth will come from China, India and oil-producing countries in the Middle East, where retail fuel prices are subsidized, encouraging wasteful consumption.

And to go back to food prices :

The United Nations, November 3 2007-
The price rises are a result of record oil prices, US farmers switching out of cereals to grow biofuel crops, extreme weather and growing demand from countries India and China, the UN said yesterday

8 Sep 2007, 0200 hrs IST,Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN-
A massive purchase of nearly 800,000 tonnes of wheat by India at record prices earlier this week has added to what agricultural experts are calling the great wheat panic of 2007. Wheat prices had already reached record levels ahead of the Indian move, thanks to falling or stagnating production in many countries — blamed on poor weather and crop diversion — and growing population.

Jean Ziegler,The United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food , April 28, 2008-
"There are four main causes that everyone is talking about: biofuels, increased demand in China and India, higher oil prices and global warming. But the real cause is that for decades there has not been proper investment for years in local agriculture in developing countries."

Rajeev Deshpande,TNN, 4 May 2008-
And diversion of foodgrain for bio-fuels in countries like Brazil and US has happened at a time when better incomes are driving demand in economies like India and China. All this, just as years of neglect in modernising agriculture and improving yields suddenly caught up with India making it a nation that imports food.

Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute,February 26, 2008-
Much of the blame has been put on the transfer of land and grains to the production of biofuel. But its impact has been outweighed by the sharp growth in demand from a new middle class in China and India for meat and other foods, which were previously viewed as luxuries.“The fundamental cause is high income growth,” said Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Please bring a really large van, Yechuriji, and take away all these loonies but do drive carefully -remember, the United Nations will be at the back .

(emphasis mine)