According to Reuters, it's very likely that New Yorkers will have a little trouble with some of our go-to food supplies as 2024 progresses.

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The reason for the probability of seeing less of our staples on grocery store shelves is due to dry weather, export restrictions, and more biofuel production demands.

Even though farmers have been planting extra grains and oilseed crops, it looks like we'll still face some difficulty getting our hands on certain food items, at least until mid-2024. This is because of the El Nino weather phenomenon, which dried up many parts of Asia last year and has continued into this year, putting things like rice, wheat, palm oil, and other farm products at risk.

For instance, rice production in Asia is expected to decrease in the first half of 2024 because of dry planting conditions and dwindling reservoirs. India, which exports more rice than any other country, has already limited its shipments due to the impact of El Nino on production. As a result, rice prices are at their highest level in fifteen years and we're seeing significant gains in Asian export hubs.

Things aren't looking much better for wheat either. India, the world's second-largest consumer of wheat, is facing a lack of moisture that's threatening its growth. This may mean that it has to import wheat for the first time in six years. State warehouse inventories of wheat have dropped to their lowest level in seven years, adding to concerns about domestic supply.

Australia, one of the biggest wheat exporters, is experiencing its own challenges in the agriculture sector as intense heat has limited yields for this year's crop, ending the country's streak of three consecutive record harvests. If the dry conditions continue, Australian farmers may have trouble when planting their crops in April. This could cause countries like China and Indonesia to seek out wheat from other exporting regions, such as North America, Europe, and the Black Sea area.

Despite all this, there is some good news. South America's grain supplies look promising. Argentina, one of the world's largest grain exporters, is expecting increased production of soybeans, corn, and wheat due to abundant rainfall in its farming areas, which is likely to boost crop yields. Brazil, another key player in the agriculture sector, is set to produce near-record amounts of farm output in 2024, despite dry weather conditions leading to reduced estimates for soybean and corn production in recent weeks.

One thing to note, however, is that global palm oil production is predicted to decline in 2024 due to dry El Nino weather. This decline means that cooking oil prices, which dropped by more than 10% in 2023, will likely increase. The expectation of higher demand for palm oil-based biodiesel and cooking oil also adds to the possible upward price risk.

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