Grain markets soar on worldwide crop downgrades

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Naomi Spencer
1 August 2012

Downgraded harvest outlooks in the US, Russia and Australia sent grain markets soaring upward Monday. As US crops wither under the most severe drought and heat wave in more than half a century, droughts in Canada and the Black Sea growing region, a below average Indian monsoon, and a massive downgrade of the Australian wheat harvest threaten a global food crisis.

For the eighth consecutive week, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday reported a deterioration in the nation’s corn crop.
As of the week ending July 29, less than one quarter (24 percent) of US corn is considered in “good” or “excellent” condition, down from 77 percent in mid-May. Only 3 percent of the corn crop across 18 states surveyed was rated as “excellent.”

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