We also see no signs of reduced competition. Price and promotional activities continue to be hefty in some markets, as well as in some categories, despite the rhetoric of some to the contrary. What is actually happening in the markets will continue to be the key driver for our decision-making.
Finally, we expect increased volatility in commodity costs behind structurally underlying changes such as the population growth and the increasingly weather-related events. Take for example, crude oil, which traded at around $120 per barrel through March and April, then hit $90 a barrel end of June, and now is again $105 and rising. Oil in the U.S., the severe droughts in large parts of the country already leading to sharp inflated prices for soybean, corn and wheat prices.
Yet despite all of these, as the results show, we, Unilever, are increasingly able to weather all these storms and deliver the consistent results most of you are getting accustomed to from this company. Although I fully realize that it is hard to move the few remaining glass is half empty kites [ph] out there in this climate we'll continue to work on it.
We continue to drive and be driven by an opportunity mindset, not a scarcity one. The population will grow from 7 billion to 9 billion. In fact, every year 150 million people are entering the middle classes every year and global income per capita over the next 15 to 20 years is expected to more than double.As the emerging markets consumer goods company, our expanding footprint there is increasingly a source of competitive advantage. Our brands and our organizations are getting stronger as well, and our strategy is delivered each time with more and more discipline.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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