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Drought may cost billions in U.S. food exports

The ongoing drought in the Midwest is taking a major toll on corn and soybean crops and will likely cost the U.S. food export industry $billions in lost revenue. The U.S. accounts for over 50% of the global export market for corn and nearly 50% of the market for soybeans. It is estimated that that corn output could be 10-15% lower than expected this year due to the drought. Much of the soybean crop could still be salvageable if significant rains return in the near future. However, if the drought continues many countries may be forced to shift their food consumption. Of the countries which rely most on these exports (particularly corn), Japan, South Korea and Mexico could be hardest hit and will either be forced to pay higher prices or significantly cut back on consumption. Since most of the exported corn and soy is used to feed livestock, cutbacks are likely to more significantly affect meat consumption than that of staple foods. However, it is unlikely that these cutbacks will cause a significant reduction in worldwide food supplies since the supply of corn and soy as well as other staple crops is still strong in other countries.

Gary Monitz

Some additional links on the ongoing drought:

America’s drought of political will on climate change

USDA predicts big drop in corn yield

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