Stocks falls sharply as oil prices surge

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  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    June 11, 2008 1:08 p.m.

    GET A JOB GROWING CORN, even if it don't grow "Uncle Sugar" will still pay you. Corn prices have hit new highs after the US Department of Agriculture forecast that output would fall because of poor weather. Corn hit a record price of $6.672 a bushel for July delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade after the government cut its forecasts for the 2008 yield by 3%. Crops have been hard hit by wet weather and flooding in the US.To exacerbate the problem, demand for corn for both food and fuel has been increasing worldwide. "The biggest surprise is how aggressive the US Department of Agriculture was in dropping yield." The government also reduced its forecast for corn supplies running to 31 August 2009 to its lowest in more than a decade, at 673 million bushels or three weeks' worth of supply.Biofuel uses the energy contained in organic matter - crops like sugarcane and corn - to produce ethanol, an alternative to fossil-based fuels like petrol.But campaigners claim the heavily subsidised biofuel industry is fundamentally immoral, diverting land which should be producing food to fill human stomachs to produce fuel for car.