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Dash for green fuel pushes up price of meat in US

by 5m Editor
12 April 2007, at 10:10am

US - The price of meat is set to rise in America as the nation’s helter-skelter dash to convert corn into road fuel begins to take its toll on the supply of food.

The US Department of Agriculture has said that meat supply will fall this year because of the high cost of feed. Output of beef, pork and chicken is expected to decline by one billion pounds as farmers react to the soaring cost of feeding their livestock.

Typically, meat production in the United States rises by about 2 per cent a year, but the pressure from American ethanol producers manufacturing road fuel from corn has sent the price of maize soaring to $4 a bushel.

The USDA is predicting that the 2006 corn crop will sell for an average of $3.10 a bushel at the farm gate, the highest for a decade. Faced with extortionate feed costs, cattle and poultry farmers are rearing fewer animals and slaughtering them early. That means a sudden reversal in the annual meat production gain, representing a fall of 1.7lb per person.

“There is a new demand component,” Shayle Shagam, a livestock analyst at USDA, said. “Livestock producers have to bid against the ethanol industry to get supplies of corn.”

Source: TimesOnline

5m Editor