Sunday, February 13, 2011

Freeze Ruins Mexican Corn

Add one more weather event to the list of reasons why world grain prices are going up: cold weather may have ruined a fourth of Mexico’s corn fields.

The government estimates that 16 percent of the annual corn crop may have been lost because of the recent freeze, an unusual event in February in Mexico. However, officials believe many of the fields can be replanted, which would reduce the losses.

Grain crops were hit with a series of extreme weather events last year, including the fires in Russia and floods in Pakistan, and it appears that trend is continuing. In the United States, it is the winter wheat crop that was damaged last week by heavy snow and cold. The extent of the crop damage won’t be known until the snow melts, but commodities traders are anticipating losses of 10 percent or more.