Corn Brings the Death of Food Inflation

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If you have been paying attention to consumer prices and producer prices of late, the drop in the price of oil and other energy related items has been keeping a very tight lid on inflation. That has been true for most things that matter to consumers. Food has been an exception but that may be abating now as the price of corn has fallen the most in five weeks and is dragging down other food prices with it. The price of corn for grain and corn for feedstocks may be working in your favor again.

The news today showed that corn’s drop has been tied to dry weather allowing an accelerated planting to boost supply. Bloomberg even referred to a report from MDA showing a huge boost to the corn inventories in 2013. Corn futures were down 2.8% to $6.425 per bushel on above-normal trading this morning at the CBOT/CME in July, September, and December trading. The move is even down more than wheat futures being down 2% and soybean futures being down almost 1%.

Food inflation for feedstocks has been a serious thorn in the side of producers. These producers have had to pay for higher input costs to get chicken, hogs, and beef to market. Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is down over 4%, but that is because of a poor earnings report rather than due to a lower feedstocks price matrix on Monday.

Elsewhere, meat and prepared food companies are lower in sympathy with the market and with Tyson’s weak earnings report. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (NASDAQ: PPC) is up Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) is down 1.4% at $41.1 and Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE: SFD) is down 0.9% at $25.40.

Teucrium Corn (NYSE: CORN) is down 3.8% at $40.05 against a 52-week range of $35.23 to $52.71.

Interestingly enough, shares of Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) are up over 2.5% but the stock is only at $0.2885 now that it is a small cap sub-$1 stock.

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