A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) finds that food prices declined for the fifth year in a row in 2016, down 1.5 percent from 2015. That included a steady decline in cereal prices- which includes maize or corn – which fell 9.6 percent from 2015 and were down 39 percent from their 2011 peak.
At the same time last year, the U.S. ethanol industry set records for both production and exports, and the final 2016 corn harvest is estimated at 15.1 billion bushels, 11% higher than 2015.
“The FAO news clearly demonstrates that increased ethanol and corn production has not driven up food prices,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen, who notes that U.S. ethanol production will use just 2.95% of global grain supplies, the lowest in six years. “As yet another analysis has found, it’s time to put an end to the demonstrably false ‘food vs fuel’ myth that our opponents inexplicably continue to pass off as fact. There is more than enough corn to both feed and fuel the world.”
Dinneen said the FAO report backs up findings of a recent analysis commissioned by the RFA, which found that retail food prices were “not impacted in any demonstrable way by expansion of U.S. grain ethanol production under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over the past decade.”