Wednesday, April 23, 2008

農脹猛於虎

《C觀點》的施老闆寫Biflation,話美國經濟同時出現通脹(inflation)和通縮(deflation)情況,可謂兩面受敵,因為樓價跌,資產貶值,變相通縮,偏偏進口貨品卻因美元匯價轉弱而又上升,通脹可期,實行雙劍合璧,認真慘烈。

不過,除了這頭經濟怪獸外,近期熱門的另一頭猛獸已蔓延全球,它就是「Agflation」,從字面看相對易明得多,就是「農脹」也,即農產品價格上升所發生的通貨膨脹,因為全球富裕起來,人人食得好、食得多,偏偏人口不斷增長,農產品需求自不然有多冇少。聯合國就話07年全球食物價格升23%之多,比通脹厲害得多。

禤中怡曾聽聞社會愈富裕,朱古力銷量就愈好,皆因米飯填飽肚,就要來點甜品,即使當作零食也不覺肉赤,難怪有法國朱古力專門店斥巨資在港開門市,賣15元1粒的朱古力,依然有利可圖。

做朱古力主要物料是可可豆,只要看看國際可可機構(International Cocoa Organization)便曾預測07至08年的可可豆種植年度,全球可可豆產量料較預期再升10%至371.3萬噸,但需求量增長速度還要快,恐怕最終仍短缺5.1萬噸,真是食得瘋狂。

其實,可可豆價格已大幅上升,以周一倫敦收市價計,每噸2721.21美元,比一年前才2,000美元,足足升了36%!市場對未來的看法又怎樣呢?紐約期貨價已見每噸2,651美元,愛好此等美食的,是否要立即去掃三幾排朱古力做儲備?

農脹對食品製造商以為會構成巨大壓力,但見銷售雀巢咖啡、美極等食品的雀巢(Nestlé)那份業績報告,就知道誰才是受影響最深,因為該公司話首季收入升9.8%,主要是成功將成本上升部分,轉嫁予消費者所致,平均加幅達5.6%,與去年同期只加1.8%比較,足有3.8個百分點之多。若果細看就更厲害,芝士、牛奶及雪糕價格竟大升逾10%,即使其他產品也有6%以下的增幅,僅「賣水」屬唯一價格向下的產品。

再看看香港剛公布的3月食品價格升17.2%,恐怕薪酬增幅也追不上這個幅度,代表你的購買能力也被削弱,當中肉類更升逾50%,難怪去大家樂(341)吃豬扒包,那件豬扒的面積就像標靶紅心般大,見到也不禁失笑。

食品股會否受惠農脹,如雀巢般能夠提高產品價格,就要看其有多大議價能力,若果能夠將成本上漲部分轉由消費者承擔的話,即使利潤率(profit margin)保持不變,按道理營業額上升,盈利也會水漲船高,故不妨一邊食朱古力,一邊刨年報。

(4月23日刊於《am730》)

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