According To Goldman, Tsunami Puts 2011/2012 Japanese Rice Crop At Risk, Sees Vicious Snapback In Crude Prices

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Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:40 | 1042197 willlaughforfood
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Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:44 | 1042215 malusDiaz
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You sir, are correct.


People die, the squid just thinks about all the money they just missed out on.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:45 | 1042222 CPL
CPL's picture

Everything is coming up roses isn't it?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:38 | 1043138 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

Well, I bet Charlie Sheen is damn happy something bumped him out of the headlines!!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 03:37 | 1043609 DaBernank
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I was thinking the same thing about Saudi princes having world media distracted from the "day of rage".

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:16 | 1042358 covert
covert's picture

rice will always be cheap, among the cheapest of foods.


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:57 | 1042501 mophead
mophead's picture

*stealth devaluation*

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:37 | 1042199 NOTW777
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cause? they mix oil into rice?  

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:15 | 1044062 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Duh.  Why do you think they call it 'fried rice'?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:41 | 1042208 NOTW777
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fukushima - direct from epicenter

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:42 | 1042212 Ancona
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This is some scary shit. I just read about the nuke plant that has lost all ability to cool one of their reactor cores, and they plan to release radioactive steam in to the environment. The current claim is that this will have "no material impact" on life or property. Really? the last time I checked, radiation was harmful, and radiation from the core, cooling sector and elsewhere in a reactor is especially harmful. We had all better pray that this thing does not melt down. The China syndrome could become the Philadelphia syndrome, given the location of the plant.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:52 | 1042258 CPL
CPL's picture

It's not just one nuke plant, it's three in total.  One has the ability to go critical hence the reason the GoJ has warned people to step back 9 km in radius.


Nukes "balloon" because of the nature of a nuclear blast (which is what a nuke energy plant is, a control nuke explosion) and radiation effects.

Bombs just detonate and fling crap everywhere.


When bombs finish, the crap falls down somewhere.

When nukes finish, 5600 years have past to consider a half life and it is assumed half the distance from the epicenter.


My bet is they back fill in the plants with concrete mixed with lead to contain it then build a tin shed around it like every other nuclear plant accident.  The Japanese aren't very pleased that they were the first reciever of nuclear WMD via American heroes.  This isn't going to go over well in a population of a 110 million people in a space the size of California.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:52 | 1043300 Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand's picture

Please, learn something about nuclear power plants before spewing nonsense.

Nuclear power plants CAN NOT EXPLODE like a nuclear weapon.  It is physically impossible.  Nuclear power plants have NOTHING IN COMMON with a nuclear bomb, except that they both use Uranium as an energy source and they both release energy using fission.  The OK City bomb blast used diesel fuel.  That doesn't mean your diesel pickup is going to explode and blow your house up.

A small amount of radioactive material is found in the steam produced by the reactor to drive the electrical turbine.  That is what has been released--due to breaks in the steam pipes.

A much larger amount of radioactive material is contained in the fuel rods (in the core).  These fuel rods are very tough (melting temp is above 1500 deg C).  However, after the reactor is shut down (this is done automatically when the quake occurs) the fission products in the fuel rods decay and give off heat.  This is the heat that must be removed by emergency cooling systems to prevent overheating of the fuel rods and potential failure of the fuel rods which would release more radioactive material.

This news story says that the emergency systems are working.  Not too surprising as they are designed to work IN EMERGENCIES.  There are multiple, redundant systems to remove decay heat from a damaged reactor.  They are designed to work without electrical power (passive cooling) and even when plant systems have suffered major physical damage.

This earthquake is a bad situation.  These plants, and many other things like refineries, train tracks, roads, etc. are severly damaged. Japan has lost a lot of its electrical power since many power plants were co-located.  However, it is a small country and this was a huge earthquake/tsunami. 

There is a small but real risk of a significant release of radioactivity but reports, so far, indicate that this hasn't happened and probably (and hopefully) won't happen.  (Eight times normal background levels outside the plant is of no danger to anyone.)  That could change, of course, so they are performing precautionary evacuations.  This is exactly what they plan for (Many years ago, I worked in emergency planning for a nuclear power plant in US).

Japan has significant problems right now.  The damage to the nuclear plants is going to be a long term headache for them, hopefully, mostly from the loss of the electricity.

FYI, CRITICAL means that the rate of fission in the reactor is CONSTANT.  SUPERCRITICAL means the rate of fission is increasing.  SUBCRITICAL means the rate of fission is decreasing.  NONE OF THESE TERMS INDICATE DANGER.  Every reactor goes Supercritical during startup, is Critical the entire time it is operating normally, and is Subcritical as it is being shut down.  I know, bad nomenclature but that is what the nuclear pioneers stuck us with.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 09:11 | 1043880 Rodent Freikorps
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Wouldn't a fusion plant actually be containing an explosion?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:04 | 1042316 SilverRhino
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They just had the biggest earthquake in 140 years and you're worried about some fucking radioactive STEAM?  

The fact that not a single nuclear reactor has melted down is a GodDamned miracle and a testament to the skill of their engineers!

Keep everything in perspective. You could have been standing on the bridge in this photo.   The people in that town would be glad to take their chances with a little radioactive steam.


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:43 | 1042219 Lets_Eat_Ben
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Have my boobs appeared yet?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:55 | 1042269 KickIce
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A question Tyler probably asks daily...

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:34 | 1042412 akak
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If and when they do, you can be sure that RobotTrader will post the pics of them here.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:05 | 1042321 Drachma
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China's solution to rice problems...

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:52 | 1042255 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

A B- 29 raid would struggle to do so much damage - the Tokyo incendiary raid excepted of course.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 17:57 | 1042286 Atomizer
Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:06 | 1042328 gall batter
gall batter's picture

They will Bandaid it just like they "fixed" the Gulf Oil GUSHER.  A little this and a little that.  

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:38 | 1042425 sbenard
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And if the price of crude oil is due to rise again, then today's stock market rally is also a mere short-term phenomena. I'll take my money and run!


Thanks all, as always, for the insights!

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:39 | 1042431 Lapri
Lapri's picture

I don't think they can even grow rice this year there, not to mention harvest! Soil contaminated with salt water, crude oil, diesel, toxic chemicals from various manufacturing plants in the area, and tons of debris on top. I guess you can hope that they will be able to clear the debris, decon the soil, repair the irrigation system, grow rice seedlings, and plant the seedlings by late May at the latest.

But hope is a dirty word these days.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:44 | 1042451 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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Shirakawa is knee deep in rice ETFs so look for the Nikkei to surge higher.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:45 | 1042454 KickIce
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Since China is already using plastic rice I figured it was already undervalued.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:59 | 1042513 Papasmurf
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Ultimately recyclable.  Just collect it after use and diffuse fresh melamine into it. 

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:54 | 1042495 Papasmurf
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You lost my attention when you said "Goldman's said".   Chances are they caused the tsunami.  And this one pales by comparison to their last one of 2008.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:40 | 1042888 Vint Slugs
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Re rice:


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:36 | 1043042 sgorem
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Just out: CNBC "Saudi Arabia to pick up the slack in rice exports", "Obummer & Nappy to vacation 2 weeks at Jamie Dimon estate in Virgin Islands", "oil to drop to $40-45/bl by end of March", Gadaffy to rebels, "WE surrender", "Sgorem & Sons Tree trimming and Garbage Haul-a-way Inc. going public IPO coming soon", etc., etc..........  

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:21 | 1043112 dondonsurvelo
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The Japanese will collectively eat less rice and feel good about the sacrafice.  They will not whine about their situation but will immediately work together to put the nation back in order.  Nagasaki and Hiroshima and their surrender to the US are not to distant in the past.  Yet the Japanese accepted their fate and then took control of it.  They will do the same now and I feel they will succeed faster than anyone will ever be able to imagine.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:13 | 1043330 luciusfargo
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Indeed, there's no holding back the Japanese. We learnt that in 1990s.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:28 | 1043121 onarga74
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We don't need no steenkin rice. We're doing without 65% of Russia's wheat crop and without 90.7 percent of our veggies cause of the worst freeze in Mexico since 1959.  In Oregon we have bright red tags on the lettuce that apologizes for the 4 dollar price.  I wrote em back and said lettuce doesn't taste like anything anyway and I'll grow my own if I remember how.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:59 | 1043168 lewy14
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FWIW - the Japanese are a bit picky about their rice - the one time they had to import, they got rice from the Sacramento area.

Don't know how to play that one; someone here might.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:36 | 1043273 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Could Goldman be right this time?


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:25 | 1043346 DaveyJones
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In the post peak world, and if we build them, how exactly do we keep plants safe along the multiple fault west coast  

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:07 | 1043416 zebra
zebra's picture

and US market in celebration mode.

nice country

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:29 | 1043447 Yen Cross
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I'll be sure and bank that one.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 04:48 | 1043695 ivana
ivana's picture

surely GS would like to hike rice up up up to the sky... what a phony excuse - japanese rice crops and tsunami ha ha ha :-)

that must be 0.04% of all rice crops around the globe.

think GS should try back combination : snow+tsunami

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 11:01 | 1044189 Pool Shark
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The happiest man on the planet is Uncle Ben.

Now, he can blame fuel and food inflation on middle-east turmoil and the Japan earthquake/tsunami.

Anything to deflect blame away from inflation-producing fed policies...

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 14:51 | 1044762 JNM
JNM's picture

Japan runs a trade surplus on the order of about $82B USD, with exports at $821B.

Short-term imports (on the order of days) will be reduced more than exports will drop, right(?) But, over the next 6 months to a year, it's likely the trade surplus vanishes. 

Domestic consumption in Japan, is likely to be higher, than previous forecasts.  No?

This is bad news for North American Oil and Equity bears.

I'm not entirely confident, looking for somebody to argue with me.

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