Eye-popping numbers

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The commodity price roller coaster continues to push skyward, and when you step back to look at current prices in an historical perspective, it is actually quite amazing.

The folks at the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute released some numbers that I had to read more than once to really let them sink in. Their analysis indicates a corn price average of $8.10 per bushel for 2012, and soybean prices averaging $16.27 per bushel. For both crops, that’s about 30 percent higher than last year’s record. Read the full report here.

These numbers may not be all that shocking now, but consider that according to data from Iowa State University in 2009 cash corn prices averaged $3.57 and soybeans $9.55. And in 2000? Try $1.77 for corn and $4.50 for soybeans.

It certainly shows the seismic shift we’ve seen in commodity prices.

But there’s an air of caution in FAPRI’s analysis: “If weather conditions allow a return to more normal growing conditions and trend yields in 2013, the result could be a sharp reduction in crop prices.”

What are your expectations for 2013?


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