Maize price set to rocket, Oxfam warns

2 June 2011

2 June 2011 | Adam Leach

The price of maize is expected to increase by about 90 per cent on the commodities market by 2030, according to a report by Oxfam.

High oil prices, increasing demand and falling stock levels will cause the price of the commodity to spiral upwards for the next 15-20 years. By 2020 the price is expected to have increased by more than a fifth, before rising more rapidly over the subsequent decade to about 90 per cent higher by 2030.

Growing A Better Future, published this week, also looked at the potential impact of climate change. The figures predict that the maize export price could jump by more than 170 per cent by 2030 as a result of climate change.

The report said, “Our projections capture the simulated impact of climate change on world prices for the major traded food staples. In the case of maize, the incremental effect of climate change on price inflation is around 86 per cent.”

Though slightly less extreme, the report predicts a similar fate for the wheat commodity prices, which are forecast to rise almost 20 per cent by 2020 and nearly 75 per cent by 2030.

Rising maize prices would have a significant impact on the food sector. In particular it would hit cereal-based products, such as corn flakes, and carbonated soft drinks, which rely heavily on corn syrup. The prices would also affect the already volatile oil price market, as corn-based ethanol is a significant component in producing gasoline.

☛ The full report can be read here

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