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Food from China and the problems.
Old 05-25-2007, 04:34 PM   #1
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Food from China and the problems.

Business and Financial News - New York Times


What we cannot grow or make our own food now here in the usa??

i gotta say we really are in a mess.

Heck we can put a man on the moon but we cannot even refine enough GASOLINE!!!!! A country that runs on automobiles and Trucks. No railroads that are worth a darn!!
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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Heck we can put a man on the moon but we cannot even refine enough GASOLINE!!!!! A country that runs on automobiles and Trucks. No railroads that are worth a darn!!
It seems that no one wants to see a new oil refinery built within 500 miles of where he lives. Having grown up in their shadow, and living relatively near them here in Houston, I can't say that I blame them.

However, those old refineries are petering out now, requiring lots of downtime for maintenance that's been postponed for way too long. And, in the meantime, no new refineries have been built, so even if we had more crude to process we would still be seeing supply pressure when it comes to gasoline.

On a positive note, I know of one huge project going on in Port Arthur, Texas, on the Gulf Coast to reclaim some refinery capacity that was shut down years ago. It will require a massive input of capital, but that's part of the answer to getting gasoline prices to drop or at least to plateau.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:46 PM   #3
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It seems that no one wants to see a new oil refinery built within 500 miles of where he lives. Having grown up in their shadow, and living relatively near them here in Houston, I can't say that I blame them.

However, those old refineries are petering out now, requiring lots of downtime for maintenance that's been postponed for way too long. And, in the meantime, no new refineries have been built, so even if we had more crude to process we would still be seeing supply pressure when it comes to gasoline.

On a positive note, I know of one huge project going on in Port Arthur, Texas, on the Gulf Coast to reclaim some refinery capacity that was shut down years ago. It will require a massive input of capital, but that's part of the answer to getting gasoline prices to drop or at least to



plateau.


Oh I understand this however this is where a political system needs to have some b@lls. Build the refineries and move the people from the area if we need to. the country cannot suvive without gasoline. Nope it would stop grind to a halt.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:03 PM   #4
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Oh I understand this however this is where a political system needs to have some b@lls. Build the refineries and move the people from the area if we need to. the country cannot suvive without gasoline. Nope it would stop grind to a halt.

I would love to see your reaction if the govt actually did something like this. Knowing you, you would probably compare it the camps they had for Japanese Americans during WWII.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
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Hummmm, I guess you do not know me that well.

Buzzz wrong.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:36 PM   #6
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import/export often doesn't make sense. some countries export all their rice crops only to import more back in for their local population etc. etc...
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:33 PM   #7
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import/export often doesn't make sense. some countries export all their rice crops only to import more back in for their local population etc. etc...
I think the import/export of stuff is usually easy to understand once you know all the factors that impact on the flows of goods. Many times when the flows appear irrational it is because of government incentives/disincentives (tarrifs, taxes, caps, etc).

These are also the reason for the refinery shortage--the reaction of people nearby to the refineries, and their use of government power to stop the construction of refineries. When gas prices get high enough, this will eventually take care of itself. Some communities in a poor, isolated area, but with the right infrastructure (access to a river, electricity, etc) will really want some good paying jobs and will invite oil companies to build a refinery. Then, in about 20 years, when a prosperous community has been built up, they'll pass laws that will choke out the refinery. The same thing sometimes happens to airports.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:46 PM   #8
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The "not in my back yard" syndrome is certainly a part of the problem, but the dirty little secret is that the companies don't really WANT to build new refineries. Profits are high, and peak oil is coming, if not already here. Before long, more refineries will just mean excess production facilities. The big companies like the present situation just fine.
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:24 AM   #9
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[quote=samclem;519282]I think the import/export of stuff is usually easy to understand once you know all the factors that impact on the flows of goods. Many times when the flows appear irrational it is because of government incentives/disincentives (tarrifs, taxes, caps, etc).
[quote]

i didn't say i didn't understand, i said it "doesn't make sense"

and it's often groups like the world bank that ratchett down protective tarriffs on basic goods and force the local economy to "irrationally" import the thing they just broke their back growing to import and buy for a higher price...
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:42 AM   #10
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i didn't say i didn't understand, i said it "doesn't make sense"
Right. The rules don't make sense, but the reactions nearly always do.

Back to where the thread started: Trade is the way of the world, and we shouldn't necessarily seek to be self-sufficient (as good as that sounds). Making a specific objective of self-sufficiency (for any nation) will force it to be less efficient than it otherwise would be, since it will be making products that could be made elsewhere and purchased for less money. (Norway could be self sufficient in coconuts by building lots of hothouses--but this would hardly be efficient or the best use of resources).

If we produced more oil (or gasoline) than we burned in the US, our price here would not necessarily go down--all oil (or gas) will be sold wherever the best price can be had.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:12 AM   #11
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I think I already saw the basic economic impact of moving food production to the US. The canned dog food I was buying at costco for $12 a case got recalled and was shortly thereafter replaced with "all ingredients USDA approved!" with a price of $19.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:43 AM   #12
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If we produced more oil (or gasoline) than we burned in the US, our price here would not necessarily go down--all oil (or gas) will be sold wherever the best price can be had.
That is precisely what happens with crude and refined products. Gasoline to some extent (depending on quality specs) is becoming a world commodity. Singapore and Saudi continue to build refineries. As long as they can produce US spec fuel, the product will flow to highest price location.

Irving Oil in New Brunswick, Canada (an independent refiner and marketer) is proposing a new 300,000 bpd refinery near Saint John which would help alleviate supply pressure....but you guessed it, the environmental lobby is already all over that idea.

FWIW, the equivalent of a new large refinery gets built in USA about every ~10 years (I think) through expansions and upgrades of existing facilities. It just isn't enough to take care of growth in demand. You can find refining capacity on an annual basis on the API and/or DOE sites.
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:36 AM   #13
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I worry that this is China "testing" out a few new ways to attack the US. Remember that engineered drop in their markets that caused a huge dip in our markets?

Now, they successfully penetrated our food supply, to include some pigs and chickens I think I read.

They are already ingaged in an active cyber war. Remember a year or two ago when it was found that they had taken control of an entiere military base's network. Pretty much owned all data passed? Sniffed every single packet?

I wish I could remember the name of the operation that resulted. The Army threw out every peiece of network gear and installed a whole new network from the ground up.
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Old 05-26-2007, 07:14 PM   #14
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Oh no the chinese are our friends!!!!!

Yea right. we give them special trade status they are a totalitarian regime and we still cuba garbage.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:30 PM   #15
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The "not in my back yard" syndrome is certainly a part of the problem, but the dirty little secret is that the companies don't really WANT to build new refineries. Profits are high, and peak oil is coming, if not already here. Before long, more refineries will just mean excess production facilities. The big companies like the present situation just fine.
Yep. The only major addition to a US refinery that I can think of is in St. Croix.

The food market is almost entirely based on price. We have farm subsidies which often means that our ag products are cheaper than unsubsidized farmers in the developing world can sell their crops. World markets aren't fair!!!

What bothers me a hunk is that products are going into our food chain with inadequate tests for wholesomeness. I think importers need to test every ingredient that was manufactured offshore unless it is from a producer such as Dole. Yes, the FDA needs to do a better job but that is no excuse for the manufacturers not to thoroughly test.
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:11 PM   #16
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What bothers me a hunk is that products are going into our food chain with inadequate tests for wholesomeness. I think importers need to test every ingredient that was manufactured offshore unless it is from a producer such as Dole. Yes, the FDA needs to do a better job but that is no excuse for the manufacturers not to thoroughly test.
yes agree! there have been problems with lead in mexican candies, and i know that a lot of asian countries do not regulate what they put in the same way they do in the states - i don't think the melamine thing is isolated.
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:16 PM   #17
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I just bought a big bag of Chinese apples. They were huge and quite tasty. I did wash them first but I think I could still taste some radiation.
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