U.S. drought drives up food prices worldwide
August 9th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

U.S. drought drives up food prices worldwide

The drought that's drying up the Heartland isn't just an American problem. It's causing food prices to surge worldwide.

And it could get worse.

"This is not some gentle monthly wake-up call, it's the same global alarm that's been screaming at us since 2008," said Colin Roche of Oxfam, noting that the drought could lead to food shortages for millions of people worldwide.

Food is a major U.S. export, so the drought affects prices around the globe.

"World leaders must snap out of their lazy complacency and realize the time of cheap food has long gone," Roche said.

In July, food prices jumped 6%, after three months of declines, according to the United Nations' monthly Food Price Index released Thursday. The main drivers behind the increase? Grain prices. And more specifically, corn prices, which have hit record highs in recent weeks.

According to the U.N. report, global corn prices surged nearly 23% in July, exacerbated by "the severe deterioration of maize crop prospects in the United States, following drought conditions and excessive heat during critical stages of the crop development."

"It's going to have a big impact [on consumers]," said Sam Zippin, an analyst at financial information firm Sageworks. "Corn is in almost everything."

Food prices have been creeping up throughout the United States, as hot temperatures across the Midwestern and Western parts of the nation have dried out crops and driven up the price of corn and grain.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Mauri

    How could you possibly give credence to a political ad like the man who accuses Gov. Romney of being responsible for his wife's death. Millions of us are in the man's boat, lost loved ones after layoffs, yet it would never occur to us to blame Congress for not passing Hillary's health plan in 1993! C'mone, we're all smarter than this. Life-long voting dem until Obama. You must help us.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @M I don't usually like trolls but in your case, you speak the truth...And both these guys are "honorable" men....but that Obama piece is just Cr*p!

      August 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Name s kelj

    Ok lets hear it form the non belivers of climate change.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sinfully Yours

    Now I have a craving for some corn...speaking of...

    You ever notice how, after eating corn, it never gets fully digested...EVER!

    August 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |

    Corn is an industrial product today and in value as to nutrition next to zilch.
    As to fully digestible or not, name a vegetable that does not contribute to your waste.
    Corn of today may give higher yields, bushels per acre mass, but in no ways the equivelent value of corn stock of pre 1960's.
    It is way higher in sugar content and as for corn and beef a fat producer and a high % of the cattles waste is recyclable as feed.
    Cattle put on fat which equals weight, which you pay for.
    Processed corn flower is the most fully digestible but the heat of cracking, crushing and cooking breaks down
    molecules a bit.
    Without the beef industry, and the ignorance of the enviro groups that pushed the lies of energy and pollution and made instant millionaires and saved energy firms billions, we could once again make corn a human emergy crop.
    The seed vault island contains tons of good original corn for seeding, but we will never get to see it planted.
    Corn, no matter where.is an energy dependent crop that depletes the soil faster than almost all grain crops, especially the GMD,s. and way more than original seed varietys.
    Humans consume thousands of pounds of corn sugars in life time.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kenny Rogers

    @little mister
    You are going to get fired for blogging at work, no matter how much you think that you are above all.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HEY CNN

    Hey, CNN, there is a glitch in your mobile site that is preventing people from posting. Please fix this as soon as possible.
    Thank you.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Iceax

    How big is your corn? I will enjoy it if you know how to use it who am i ?

    August 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Man made

    Trust me people everything is all done by design. It's like that when humans try to play God (U.S. Gov't) Everything is screwd up on purpose.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |

    Lots more to this raise in food prices besides the decrease in corn crops.
    Truth is we are planting and growing far more acres of corn than are needed for domestic human and animal consumption; As tens of thousands of acres are now energy products.
    We saw a raise in food cost immediately after the corn for fuel program began and. that was after taxpayers guaranteed at least a 10% profits to investors in energy firms.
    Corn is an energy intensive crop and we now find corn crops planted on marginaly productive and over harvested soils.
    Corn depletes soil at a far faster rate than almost every other grain; while at the same time has far less nutritional value than most, that is because of the types of corn, hybrids and GMC's.
    Products such as sugar is a pork laden political and artificialy controlled market.
    Americans should blame loss of dollar value if foreign maekets can afford corn while we in US cannot.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. little mister

    Go away troll, I don't use that mark anymore.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mexico is to blame

    The other CNN story shows ernesto soaking the caribbean. The hurricane forecasters promised at least seven class 4 hurricanes. The carribeans are hoarding the agua and we are in a drought! Demand restitution!

    August 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Blind Flagwaver

    What a load of hooey. America's generosity feeds the world. Everyone knows this to be true.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anti-American Phil

      Hay! Hogwash! Get a clue!

      August 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bobcat (in a hat)©

    ... A woman walks into a vet's waiting room. She's dragging a wet rabbit on a leash. The rabbit does NOT want to be there.
    "Sit, Fluffy," she says. Fluffy glares at her, and sopping wet, jumps up on another customer's lap, getting water all over him.
    "I said SIT, now there's a good Fluffy," says the woman, slightly embarrassed. Fluffy, wet already, squats in the middle of the room and pees.
    The woman, mortally embarrassed, shouts, "damn it Fluffy, will you be good?!" Fluffy then starts a fight with a Doberman and pursues it out of the office.
    As the woman leaves to go after it, she turns to the rest of the flabbergasted customers and says:

    "Pardon me, I've just washed my hare, and can't do a thing with it!"

    August 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bobcat (in a hat)©

    ... A prisoner at the Edmonton Maximum Security Prison started training a large fly to do tricks. For years, for thousands of hours, he worked with the insect. It learned to walk across a miniature high wire, ride a tiny one-wheel bike, balance on a pair of stilts and sing songs from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
    "When you and I get out of here," the jailbird said to the fly. "we're going to tour the night-spots and make a fortune."
    Finally the day arrived. Fly safely tucked away in his pocket, (inside its matchbox home), the ex-con made his way to a bar to celebrate.
    At the bar, he brought out his trick fly. On cue, it started moonwalking. "What about this fly, eh?" he said to the bartender.
    In one swift motion, the bartender reached for his copy of the local newspaper, rolled it up and squished the fly with a mighty swipe.

    "Glad you saw it," muttered the bartender. "Damn things are everywhere."

    August 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |

    Ok folks, do you want to eat your corn or burn it in your autos?

    August 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
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