Letters Week of July 23: Commodities, Liquidity and Telstra

Readers discuss the soft commodity squeeze, ask about liquidity in shares and consider the future of Telstra, along with China's growth levels.

Soft commodity squeeze

Regarding the Kohler’s Graph ‘The Wheat, Corn and Soy Price Squeeze’ I was wondering if Alan could do the same graphs for a similar period 2008. I previously worked at Landmark Finance/AWB. I am wondering if there are some characteristics similar to that period?

What I observed was:

1. We saw a significant increase in deposits in regional Australia. I am observing this pattern again.

2. Commodity Prices spiked due to drought in Australia – this time in USA

3.  Lehman bros collapsed in September 2008.  Will it be Greece in 2012?

T Morgan

Liquidity query

I refer to an article by Robert Gottliebsen, A bumper crop for investors.

The article gives the impression that investing in Ruralco (RHL) is worth considering. After looking at this company, I see that it has very low trade volumes and many days those volumes are below 100,000 trades.

Given that such low volumes could make it very difficult to liquidate a holding in a reasonable time frame, I am wondering why it would be ‘recommended’? This is a friendly question and put forward so I can gain insight into the mindset of successful investors.

J Blackburn

Telstra second wind?

It seems that the coalition will win the next election, so with their fundamental belief in the merit of private enterprise, is it not possible that they might sell the NBN straight away and let the buyer finish it in the most appropriate way. If that happened it seems to me that Telstra, or a Telstra-led consortium, would probably be the only credible purchaser and would likely buy it for vastly less than Labor will have spent by then. Am I dreaming?

S Sturgess

New opportunities

Firstly, I like the new website. It is much easier to search articles.

Secondly, On the July 23 issue, Adam Carr mentioned about the better investment opportunities in parts of Asian. It would be great if he can also identify successful managed funds (or EFTs) that focus in these opportunities. Even better, a 'road test' similar to Magellan Glogal Fund in the same issue.

D Ho

China’s growth story

It amazes me how the commentariat continue to tell us that the Chinese economy is slowing. Now we've got Alan Kohler falling into the same trap. I refer to Alan's Weekend Briefing, first sentence under the heading "Iron Ore". And yet if I read other reports about the Chinese economy I am sure to be told that China's rate of growth has fallen from around 14% to 7%. Now, when I went to school, which I must admit was a long time ago, I learned that "rate of growth" could also be called "acceleration". So if the current rate of growth for the Chinese economy is around 7%, then surely the Chinese economy is accelerating at 7% pa. I am not sure how Mr Kohler can possibly report this as a slowing economy. More care with your words please gentlemen.

M Johnson

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