Ethanol Producers in Trouble as Corn Sets New Record

by: Konrad Imielinski

Add "bad weather" to the already lengthy list of problems corn-ethanol needs to overcome. Heavy rains, severe winds, and tornadoes throughout the Midwest has propelled corn into uncharted territory. July corn on the CBOT rose 28.6 cents Thursday to settle at an all time high of $6.43 1/4 a bushel.

Farmers are saying this is the worst weather they have seen since 1993, when U.S. crops suffered from weeks of rain that eventually led to the severe flooding of the Mississippi river. Agriculture Secretary Ed Shafer expressed "a lot of concern" for the corn crop in Thursday's summit on the global food crisis.

The option of replanting corn that was damaged in May is dwindling as farmers are deciding whether they should replace their corn with a shorter growing season crop like soybeans. All ethanol producers can do now is desperately pray for sunshine as there is already a tight supply of corn available.

Assisting Thursday's massive jump was a ~ $6 rise in crude oil as the dollar lost ground against the Euro.