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Grains hit records in June

August 01, 2008|From the Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Rising costs for fuel, feed and fertilizer propelled grain prices to all-time highs in June, raising the overall price of crops and livestock by 16% this year compared with last year, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report showed Thursday. Grain prices gained 42% for the year overall.

Corn sold for an average of $5.61 a bushel in June, up 69% from $3.32 in 2007. Soybeans sold for $14.20 a bushel, nearly double last year's figure of $7.56. Corn went for just $2.14 a bushel in 2006 and soybeans sold for $5.61.

The annual report measures the price farmers receive for their goods, not what consumers pay. Crops and livestock amount to a fraction of the final cost of food, which includes transportation, packaging and marketing costs.

While soaring grain prices mean big profits for farmers and agribusinesses such as Archer Daniels Midland Co. and ConAgra Foods Inc., the trend is hurting meat companies such as Tyson Foods Inc. Meat prices haven't kept pace with grain, which is the biggest input cost for meat processors.

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