A new report from Informa Economics released today concludes that ethanol production is not causing a “strict food-versus-fuel tradeoff” that automatically drives consumer food prices higher.
The report, which was prepared for the Renewable Fuels Foundation, is an historical analysis of corn, commodity and consumer prices from 1985-2010. One of the key findings of the study was that no single factor has been responsible for higher consumer food prices over time, “but rather, there is a complex and interrelated set of factors that contribute to food prices.”
The report also found that other supply and demand factor besides ethanol, such as increased exports, have also contributed to the rise in the commodity price for corn. “Furthermore, corn prices have a relatively weak correlation with food prices, as the farm share is a relatively small portion of the overall retail food dollar and for many products corn is only a portion of the farm value,” said report author Bruce Scherr, CEO and Chairman of Informa Economics.
“Yet again, sound analysis has demonstrated that the farcical food-versus-fuel debate is just that – a joke,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Unfortunately, the effort to scapegoat ethanol in order to continue our addiction to imported oil is not funny. The fact remains that no statistical evidence exists demonstrating a significant link between ethanol, corn prices, and rising food costs.”