Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Drought in US Forces Up Food Prices

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Drought in US Forces Up Food Prices

Article excerpt

Byline: David Gardner in Los Angeles

FOOD prices in Britain are being driven up after America's worst drought in half a century dramatically reduced harvests of wheat, corn and soya beans.

Sixty per cent of the US, including prime farm and ranch territory, is suffering "moderate to exceptional" drought conditions. Food giants Kraft and Nestle have indicated they will pass on further increases in the price of corn and soya beans to consumers.

The hottest July in US history destroyed one sixth of the corn crop, causing farmers to abandon scorched fields greater in area than Belgium and Luxembourg and livestock farmers are concerned that they will be hit worst by rising prices for corn and soya beans used for feed.

The drop in production for the world's largest corn grower helped push global food prices up by six per cent last month. Oxfam warned of "devastating consequences for those already struggling to get enough to eat" and urged the US government to cut its quotas for corn-based ethanol fuels to focus on filling the demand for food. …

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