A Gross New Twist on the Supply-Chain Shortage

I should have had an easy flight to Denver...

Instead, I had my first brush with the struggling supply chain.

As the cabin readied for final descent, we heard the ping of the overhead announcement. "Folks, we're going to circle due to some bad weather above the tower."

An hour later, another ping... "Folks, it's now looking like we'll need to refuel in Colorado Springs."

Colorado Springs is 70 miles south of Denver. A chorus of groans erupted from the cabin.

Then, when the plane arrived at its pitstop, our nightmare continued...

"Folks, we can't refuel yet. Please remain seated." The air stewards served pretzels to the disgruntled passengers, but they were out of water. One irate man started demanding to be let off the plane... until he was escorted off by police.

Finally, another announcement penetrated the tense air: "Folks – we're chartering a new flight. Please exit in an orderly fashion."

Fortunately, a friend of mine in Colorado Springs agreed to drive me home.

Looking back over the whole mess, it was one problem after another. First, the fuel supply was to blame... Later, it was a staffing shortage. The truth is, I don't know what happened to that flight. But one thing was clear...

The supply-chain crunch is real. It's causing plenty of hassle... and weirder and weirder outcomes.

And what I'm about to tell you may be the weirdest outcome yet...

You've likely heard about all kinds of scarcity hitting the economy. We've seen it in semiconductors... cars... coffee... and even jet fuel, to name a few.

Well, it's not just a media embellishment.

Supply shortages have made it tough to get a hold of just about everything. As a result, prices are through the roof... And food costs are no exception. According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization ("FAO"), November's food prices were up 1.2% from October. And they're up an astonishing 27% over the last year.

This news marks four consecutive months of rising food prices. It also pegs the FAO Food Price Index at its highest level in 10 years.

One of the major causes is fertilizer. Like everything else, it's scarce today. And combined with new trade restrictions, that has led to a shortage of many fertilizer ingredients. Folks have already bought up as much of the synthetic product as they can.

As a result, growers are turning to the organic version.

Dung from pigs, horses, and cows has become an unlikely big-ticket item. Manure sales are skyrocketing, to the point that even animal compost is hard to come by. And that has provoked a new surge – this time, in sales of "biosolids."

You might not be familiar with this term... I certainly hadn't ever heard it before. Biosolids are treated sewer sludge, which is spread over farmland to promote crops.

That's human sewer sludge... or "humanure." I'll spare you this product's other names.

The Environmental Protection Agency approves and oversees the use of biosolids. Both America and the U.K. have them in broad agricultural use.

That means you've probably already eaten food grown with biosolids. And if you haven't, it's almost guaranteed you will soon.

Now, maybe this boom in biosolids is driven by artificial post-pandemic demand. Or maybe that demand is here to stay. Right now, it's too soon to tell.

But what's clear is that the supply-chain crunch is much more than media hype. It's a big reason for the massive inflation we're seeing today, both in the food industry and elsewhere.

No one would have predicted a year ago that food-industry shortages would have led to a boom in the use of human waste. Yet that's exactly what we're seeing now. Businesses are scrambling to keep up with demand... in every way they can.

To be clear, I don't recommend you try to invest in this new trend. But this is just one example of exactly how long disruptions like these can last (and how extreme they can get).

The world has gotten pretty weird post-pandemic. And it wouldn't surprise me if it gets even weirder from here.

Good investing,

Sean Michael Cummings

Further Reading

As the world went into lockdown last year and consumers hoarded essentials, inventories ran dry. While supply-chain issues persist, the cost of goods may continue to rise. And that means you need to get positioned for what's next... Read more here: What Today's 'Toilet Paper Indicator' Could Mean for the Melt Up.

The pandemic is still disrupting our daily lives. As it continues, demand for vaccines and treatments will continue to soar. And one company in the life-sciences sector will profit as a result... Learn more here: The Vaccine Juggernauts Rely on This Company.

Market Notes
RELIABLE GAINS ROLL IN FROM THIS 'WORLD DOMINATING' BEVERAGE GIANT

Today, we’re looking at an established company that dominates its industry…

Longtime readers have heard us talk about “World Dominating Dividend Growers.” These companies have strong financials and huge, global brands that allow them to sit at the top of their industries. And their investors benefit from their success through steadily increased dividend payments. Today’s company is a perfect example…

Coca-Cola (KO) is the $250 billion giant of the nonalcoholic-beverage industry. It sells its 200-plus brands in more than 200 countries and territories. Along with the iconic original Coke soft drink, it boasts other well-known brands such as Simply juice, Dasani water, and Honest Tea. Coca-Cola’s worldwide brand recognition has helped it perform well amidst the pandemic… In its most recent quarter, Coca-Cola sales hit $10 billion – up 16% year over year. And the company raised its dividend for the 59th consecutive year.

As you can see in today’s chart, KO shares are up 40% over the past five years… And they just hit a fresh 52-week high. This is another example of why World Dominating Dividend Growers remain a solid long-term investment…