From tortillas to cornbread, some of your favorite corn-based dishes may go up in price late this summer.
Corn has been leading the rally among grain commodities, rising more than 30% in 2021, according to MarketWatch.
Roberto Aguilar, editorial director for Forbes México, told CNN that higher corn prices have contributed to a price increase for tortillas. CNN reported that some zones in Mexico are nearing 20 MXN (or $1 USD) per kilogram of corn tortilla – last year the national prices hovered between 9.7 to 18 MXN (or 0.48 to 0.89 USD). An ear of corn could potentially make around 10 small tortillas.
The grain touched its highest prices in nearly eight years, outpacing the rally for other agricultural crops like wheat and soybeans.
“If it grows in soil, chances are prices are skyrocketing,” Ed Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, a trading, currency data and analytics solutions firm, told USA TODAY. “Corn, wheat, soybeans and even lumber prices are surging higher, and that should spell trouble in the coming months for the U.S. consumer.”.”
A woman packs tortilla with other employees at La Sonorense Tortilla Factory in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo: Nick Oza, The Arizona Republic)
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Officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beijing said in an April 16 report the “continued feed demand and a supply deficit” supports an increase in corn import from China, which would also impact U.S. prices.
Moya, says American consumers “should brace for higher prices” on corn-based products, adding that businesses won’t hesitate to pass the increases onto consumers.
“Americans should definitely expect an eventual rise in prices later in the year,” says Moya. “The surge with grain prices should not immediately be visible at supermarkets, since retailers absorb the initial increase. (But) eventually, the margin pressure will be too big and probably at some point late in the summer, Americans will start to take notice to some increases on grocery shelves.”
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