Gauteng and NW Province

Maize price jumps as US drought drags on

Adverse weather in other major grain-producing countries has speculators betting on costs rising

Fears that global food prices will rocket at the end of the year following a poor United States harvest were heightened this week after predictions that a drought across the Midwest is expected to continue for at least another seven days.

Maize yields were already suffering because a long drought that hurt the crop in its critical pollination phase, experts said, as the price of Chicago new-crop maize jumped more than 3% to its highest level since October last year.
A repeat of the drought in 2010 in another important wheat producing country, Russia, which saw food prices rise in Europe, is likely to make the situation worse.

The major soya bean producers Brazil and Argentina have also suffered because of poor weather conditions.

Luke Mathews, a commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said: “Hot, dry weather across the US and the declining yield potential is driving the increase in corn today.

Mail & Guardian July 6 to 12 2012

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