Spiking Corn Prices Could Impact Many Consumer Goods

May 24, 2021

Corn prices have spiked over the last year, and that could mean a lot more than just higher prices when you’re buying corn on the cob for your summer BBQ. Visual Capitalists has provided a breakdown of the various uses for corn and the impact higher prices could have on everything from meat that requires corn feed, to ethanol fuel, to sodas that use corn syrup.

Since the start of 2020, corn prices have climber nearly 70%, reaching the highest level in more than eight years. The United States is the world’s largest producer of corn, and much of what we grow ends up exported to other countries. Prior to 2020, the majority of U.S. corn exports went to Mexico, Japan, and Colombia. In 2020, however, demand from China saw an exponential increase.

The surge in demand from China had two major causes. First, a massive drought hit Brazil, which provides much of China’s corn. Second, China’s domestic supplies have been decimated by demand from pig farmers, whose herds had been hit by an outbreak of African swine fever.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that China’s corn imports will be even higher in 2021 than 2020, so prices are not expected to fall any time soon.

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