Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Argentina Farmer Strike Causes Corn to Rise to Allowed Limits

After an export tax increase in Argentina, farmers protested by blocking ports and asserting they'll plant less crops this year than in the past - including corn.

The strike shut things down so completely that only 19 trucks entered the port of Rosario, according to reports, when a usual day in March can have up to 6,000 trucks delivering goods to the port. Rosario accounts for about 60 percent of the grain exported out of Argentina.

The protest is actually in reference to increases in export taxes on soybeans and sunflowers seeds, which was increased to around 44 percent from the 35 percent last week.

As a result, the possibility that exports for Argentina could be cut back, caused prices to rise as high as they're allowed for corn by the Chicago Board of Trade.

May delivery of corn futures rose by 20 cents, to reach $5.4475 a bushel, or 3.8 percent.

Over the last year, corn prices have risen by 35 percent and attained a record on March 11 of $5.795 a bushel.

Another factor causing the increase of corn prices is the weather in the U.S., which has been extremely wet in the eastern portion of the midwest, which is causing farmers to delay planting. It looks like the wet conditions will continue on for some time in some parts of this region of the country.

Finally of course, the artificially created market for ethanol continues to put pressures on corn prices, as the unproven fuel continues to reek havoc in the markets.

All this combined makes the price of corn likely to continue increasing in price over the next several months.

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