Floods cause corn prices to hit record high
The worst flooding in the Midwest for 15 years sent fresh shocks to global markets and consumers on Monday as corn prices hit record highs on fears of crop losses in the heart of the world's top grain exporter.
Corn prices at the Chicago Board of Trade soared above $8 a bushel for the first time as relentless rains and overflowing rivers raised fears that Midwest farmers will not be able to grow much of anything on as many as 5 million acres (2 million hectares).
"The market is being driven by water," said Glenn Hollander, a veteran grain merchant on the CBOT trading floor.
"Estimates show 3 million acres of corn under water and probably 2 million didn't get planted. So that gets you up to 5 million or over 700 million bushels, and that takes out the entire carry-out," he said, referring to estimates for grain stocks carried over to the next crop year.
Overwhelmed river levees across Iowa and Illinois, which produce about a third of U.S. corn and soybeans, have displaced thousands of people.