US floods hit food prices
Consumers were warned to expect even sharper increases in global food prices after US officials said that some of the country’s best farmland was facing its worst flooding for 15 years.
Agriculture officials and traders said the damage could push up worldwide corn and soyabean prices, which have spiralled in recent days as floods have swamped crops in parts of Iowa, the US’s biggest corn-producing state.
The warning comes at a time when high food prices are already sparking protests across the developing world.
Corn futures in Chicago this week rose to record highs of more than $8 a bushel on fears that up to 5m acres of the crop could be lost, while soyabean prices hit a record of $15.93 a bushel.
Tom Jennings, acting director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, said: “The price of corn and the price of beans could rise more. If we lose a lot of corn the prices will continue to go up.”
The increase in the cost of corn and soyabeans – the two main feed crops for farm animals such as cows and chickens – increased the price of live cattle yesterday for the second day in a row, to the highest level in 22 years.
Inflation of food prices is already a nightmare out there.
Now it will be even worse.