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Heatwave threatens US grain harvest

“An intense heatwave is threatening havoc with this year’s US grain harvest, burning up hopes of blockbuster yields and sending prices soaring.

Even a modest reduction in crops could send ripples through global food commodities markets, as the US is the world’s top exporter of corn, soyabeans and wheat, and stocks of the first two are relatively low.”

“Soyabean prices have surged to the highest level since the 2007-08 food crisis and the price of this year’s corn crop has risen 30 per cent since mid-June. Worries about the size of the US crop come only months after drought hit the Latin American soyabean belt of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Top US farming states such as Illinois and Indiana had suffered temperatures above 38ºC (100ºF) for several days already, with no let-up this week.

“The forecast is going to remain pretty much the same over the next week. We’re not looking at much of a break in the heat,” said Matt Barnes, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s central Illinois office.

Soyabean futures on Monday rose 1.5 per cent in early trading to $15.42 a bushel, the highest since July 2008. The oilseed price has surged 15 per cent since the beginning of June as high temperatures blanketed farm fields. Corn came within pennies of $7 a bushel for the first time since September.”

Via Financial Times

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