corn effect: food prices likely to stay high

meanwhile, record output seen for grains*
from ap: The U.S. government barely changed its estimate for next year’s corn surplus, which is expected to stay small and keep high food prices high. The Department of Agriculture estimated Friday that farmers will have 848 million bushels of corn on hand at the end of next summer. That’s up less than 1 percent from last month’s forecast. Next year’s surplus would satisfy demand for fewer than 25 days. A 30-day supply is considered healthy. Higher corn prices have pushed overall food inflation up this year. Corn is an ingredient in everything from animal feed to cereal to soft drinks. The USDA expects food prices to have increased 4.5% in 2011. They estimate prices will rise as much as 3.5% next year.

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