Food is even pricier | Britain's going green |

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Today's big stories

  1. Global food prices hit a record high
  2. Our analyst has looked into whether now’s a good time to buy a home – Read Now
  3. The UK government announced new rules to boost EV production in the country

Unamused Bouche

Unamused Bouche

What’s Going On Here?

Fresh data out from the United Nations (UN) on Friday showed that food prices jumped to a record high last month.

What Does This Mean?

The world’s been getting hangry about food prices for a while now: harvests were disrupted by bad weather last year, and those dwindling supplies haven’t kept up with the post-lockdown bounceback in demand. But the Ukraine war has poured fuel on the fire: the country is the top exporter of sunflower oil in the world, and accounts for around 30% of the global wheat trade alongside Russia. That’s to say nothing of the damage the conflict has done to global trade more broadly. Put it together, and a UN index that tracks global food prices climbed 13% higher last month than the month before – meaning it’s now jumped more than 50% since mid-2020.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: The US is mealy-mouthed.
The UN has been vocal about the fact that the situation could get even dicier, especially now that some countries are limiting exports so they can feed themselves. The US, for its part, has floated the idea that Australia and India would be able to cover around half as much of Ukraine and Russia’s wheat output if they just upped exports. As for what it’s planning to do, the country’s reportedly thinking about the possibility of investing something sometime, maybe?

The bigger picture: Cheap and not-so-cheerful.
Brits are feeling the effects: data out last week showed that UK grocery spending was lower last month than it was in March 2021. Shoppers are swapping big-name brands for cheaper alternatives too, with sales of white-label goods on the rise. That might be why Lidl and Aldi – two German discount stores that have made waves in the UK specializing in own-brand products – were among the only retailers to gain market share last month.

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Analyst Take

Is Now A Good Time To Buy Your Dream Home?

Is Now A Good Time To Buy Your Dream Home?
Photo of Stéphane Renevier

Stéphane Renevier, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

US homebuyers have been in a buying frenzy since the Covid recovery.

New homeowners have had to shell out $420 more a month for a median-price home (roughly $405,000), at a time when food and gas prices are already pushing budgets to the brink.

And now, mortgage rates are on the rise too: they’ve just seen their biggest three-month gain since 1987, with the 30-year fixed rate rising from just above 3% in February to 5% today.

But that could look like small potatoes soon enough, so you’d be forgiven for wanting to buy in even if house prices are pretty dizzying.

So that’s today’s Insight: should you buy your dream home, or should you wait a while?

Read or listen to the Insight here


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Modernized Life Is Rubbish

Modernized Life Is Rubbish

What’s Going On Here?

The UK government said last week it’s introducing new rules in a bid to make half of all new cars in the UK electric by 2028, but its infrastructure could do with an update first…

What Does This Mean?

The UK government said two years ago that it’d be banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and this move should help it get there: it’s introducing China-style rules that’ll force carmakers to make 22% of their output fully electric by 2024, 52% by 2028, and 80% by 2030. But some industry organizations are calling for more relaxed targets – not least because there’s not much talk of actively incentivizing British customers to actually buy EVs. They’re also not convinced there’ll be enough charging stations across the UK to power them – a shortfall that’s long been putting off potential electric converts in the country.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: Did you forget something else?
The UK government’s latest plan is focused squarely on fully electric cars, but it hasn’t said anything about hybrids. That’s left hybrid specialists like Toyota wondering if they’ll even be able to sell them to British customers after 2030, which might be why the world’s biggest carmaker has threatened to stop investing in its UK-based carmaking plant – one of the biggest in the country.

Zooming out: Join in or lose out.
Government-led EV initiatives – of which there are more and more each year – do seem to be working: data from Bloomberg out on Friday showed there were around 16 million EVs on the world’s roads by the end of last year – up from just 1 million in 2016 (tweet this). And since Bloomberg thinks emerging markets will end up embracing EVs too, it now reckons that this figure could hit 71 million by 2025 – 10 years ahead of previous forecasts.

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💬 Quote of the day

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.”

– Virginia Satir (an American author and psychotherapist)
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🥳 Coming up this week…

(All events given in UK time)

💰 How Investors Can Profit From Real-Time Payments: 6pm April 11th
🧑‍💻 Strategies To Find The Best Web3 Projects and DAOs: 5pm April 12th
♻️ Investing Opportunities Beyond Wind And Solar: 1pm April 13th
🧠 How To Master The Investor Mindset: 6pm April 13th
🚀 How To Invest In The Space Economy: 1pm April 14th
🚑 How To Invest In Insuretech: 6pm April 14th

🤯 And after that…

💰 Understanding Use Cases To Generate Crypto Wealth: 6pm April 20th
👷‍♀️ How To Protect Your Portfolio: 1pm April 21st
📈 How To Identify High-Growth Metaverse Stocks: 6pm April 21st
🌍 2022 Macro And Fixed Income Opportunities: 1pm April 22nd
🎙 Live Crypto Community Q&A: 5pm April 22nd
💸 Top Crypto Investing Strategies: 5pm April 25th
🪐 An Impact Investor’s Guide to Web3: 6pm April 28th
🎙 Live Crypto Community Q&A: 5pm April 29th

🎯 On Our Radar

  1. You gotta shape up. Especially your arms, according to Kim Kardashian.
  2. Zuckerberg hasn’t seen a home office in a while. His version of one didn’t quite hit the mark.
  3. The internet mocked Britney Spears’ Instagram. Look deeper though, and you might see something different.
  4. This guy’s promoting a new kink. It might just be the purest, most romantic one of all.
  5. The food industry’s leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. Maybe it’s time to fix it.
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