The financial potential for soft commodities such as grain, coffee, cocoa, cotton, tea and sugar, is now looking promising
The fundamentals are strong – on the demand side, there is a global food scarcity, and with the world population increasing by 75mn people a year the demand for these products will increase. The price for sugar has reached a 28-year high at over $0.25 cents a pound. Even in tough economic conditions, demand for most soft commodities is growing and the African continent will benefit from this demand.
For some soft commodities, the market has suddenly expanded dramatically, as biofuels have introduced a new source of demand. Consumers in developing countries are eating more meat, which creates more demand for feedstock grain, so the market is likely to remain buoyant.
Building on the success of the first edition, this second edition of the African Soft Commodities and Finance 2012 (Softcom) will present the current markets, the risks involved when investing in the soft commodities field, the lessons to learn from the economic and financial crisis and the effect on farmers of trading in these soft commodities.