Voted #6 on Top 100 Family Business Influencers, most influential expert on Wealth, Finance and Investments: Jacoline Loewen LinkedIn Profile

April 4, 2008

Would You Think Agriculture Was the Next Bubble?

The housing bubble helped us get out of the mess from the tech bubble bursting and so now begins the next bubble - alternative fuels.
Loewen & Partners was invited to listened to Mayo Schmidt, the charming and erudite CEO of Viterra which is Canada's fastest growing agricultural company - their tag line is "Leading Canadian Agriculture." Mayo is one of those mid-West men with the folksy trustworthiness but he is probably the sharpest tool in the shed. He blew me away with first of all his company's earnings and future vision, but also reminded me of how fast the world is switching away from oil. Mayo says that Brazil has converted more than half their fuel needs to sugar cane and other cellulose fuel. This land use and conversion of agriculture away from food to energy use will bring challenges as the world population is expected to keep escalating.
While I was in South Africa, I met with one of the investors from the Dubai Fund who are busy buying up land in South Africa where the property rights are still stable - no crazy Bob Magabwe types taking land.

Here's a quick list of fuel prices around the world:
Prices are quoted in US dollars per gallon for regular unleaded. March 1, 2008
Oslo, Norway $6.82
Hong Kong $6.25
Brussels, Belgium $6.16
London, UK $5.96
Rome, Italy $5.80
Tokyo, Japan $5.25
Sao Paulo, Brazil $4.42
New Delhi, India $3.71
Sidney , Australia $3.42
Johannesburg, South Africa $3.39
Mexico City $2.22
Buenos Aires , Argentina $2.09

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia $0.09
Kuwait $0.08
Caracas , Venezuela$0.12
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