Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Corn Shortage Confirmed

With planting down before the season even started, it took a lot of optimism to imagine that the United States would deliver a full corn crop, and now it is safe to conclude that the crop will fall short. Mississippi valley flooding, combined with previous weather problems, led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cut its estimates of corn crop yields this week, and with the falling supplies, the futures markets have bid up corn futures to record prices for five days in a row.

The corn shortage will drive up food prices, especially for meat and milk, and raises the prospect of the return of the spot grain shortages that have caused political turmoil around the world in the last year.