European heatwave pushes up corn prices

Harvest in southern Europe is likely to be meagre this year after an extreme heatwave seriously damaged crops throughout the region.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

You may not think it, but that southern Mediterranean region actually accounts for almost 20% of the world’s agricultural production, meaning global food prices are likely to be affect by the bad harvest. The heatwave, which has hit corn hardest, has already pushed the price of the crop up by 54% since June this year, now trading at an all-time high of $8 per bushel.

Whilst human consumption of corn is not high enough to worry about, the main concern comes from the fact that it is used as an animal feed the world over, meaning the cost of several different types of meat will be pushed up as farmers struggle to get hold of enough to feed their livestock. 

The situation is worsened by the weather in the US, where farmers have been suffering the worst period of drought seen since the 1950s. In addition, Australia has seen below average rainfall, and Indian farmers have been reluctant to press on with corn because the monsoon season is late this year. 

As if we needed anything extra to pile on top of our economic woes…


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