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Article | 05 January 2022 | Investments
Prices of breakfast staples, such as orange juice, milk and cereal, have soared to ten year highs. But coffee has almost doubled in the past year. Why the jump? The weather in Brazil was too dry and then too cold, reducing the world’s biggest coffee harvest. And sticky supply chains have also been an issue, with recent exports from Brazil 24% lower than a year earlier. It’s tempted some coffee farmers, who receive a tiny fraction of the cost of a latte, to tear up their delivery contracts and sell at the market, thereby forcing prices higher.
Light turns green
Following almost three months of negotiations, the new German coalition government was sworn in, with Olaf Scholz as chancellor. It’s been nicknamed the ‘traffic light coalition’ for the traditional colours of the three parties involved. The Green Party will play a pivotal role, including leading a new ministry of economic affairs and energy. Tackling climate change is high on the agenda and the green light has been given for a huge expansion of renewable energy capacity, a swifter exit from coal power and a target of 15 million EVs on German roads by 2030.
Turmoil continued in the Chinese property sector, as heavily indebted Evergrande was finally rated ‘in default’. The People’s Bank of China cut interest rates and encouraged stronger players to buy ‘high-quality’ projects from embattled companies, aiming to prevent a meltdown. Meanwhile, marriages in China suffered the eighth consecutive year of decline. It’s due to a scarcity of willing females and the sky-high cost of the event to the whole family. But the resulting fall in birth rates has intensified China’s demographic crisis. An education programme was launched, claiming happiness is not just about the wedding gifts.