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Ethanol Fuels Food Price Rocket

by 5m Editor
27 June 2008, at 9:09am

US - A corn shortage could be exacerbated by the government's demand for ethanol, thus raising food prices even further for consumers, says CNN.

"A lot depends on how badly this weather has devastated the corn crop," said Thomas Elam, an agricultural economist at Indiana University who was commissioned by the Balanced Food and Fuel Coalition to release a study on the matter. "A smaller crop will be devastating to meat, dairy, and poultry producers if the Renewable Fuels Standard is maintained, and consumers will suffer as food and fuel costs rise."

According to CNN, about 5% of the world's corn supply goes to producing bio fuels - representing a whopping three years of growth in typical crop production, according to Elam.

"Corn will have to go to at least $8 a bushel to squeeze out enough food use to keep up with corn for ethanol," he said. "Food prices will be significantly impacted by corn if RFS goes to 10.5 billion gallons for 2009."

How significantly? Collins said food costs could rise 23% to 35% above the normal annual inflation rate of 2.5% over the next two to three years if the RFS mandates are not reduced. Elam said food price inflation rate could go as high as 7% without a mandate reduction.

View the CNN story by clicking here.

5m Editor