Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

from Summit Notebook:

How much for the bag of magic (soy)beans?

The weakening of the U.S. dollar and other currencies has led farmers around the world to value their crops more highly than they do money, said Dan Basse, president of agricultural research firm AgResource Co

"In Argentina, for example, farmers down there are more anxious to hold onto soybeans than pesos. When they need currency they're willing to take a bag of beans and trade it for whatever they need during that particular day or week.

"I can even say the same in places of the world like eastern Europe and Russia, where the rouble has lost a tremendous amount of value and farmers there feel more comfortable storing some of their grain."

Basse, speaking at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit, also said he is watching governments in countries like China, Russia and even Saudi Arabia forming crop reserves.