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Liam Denning

Corn’s Hot Summers Tend Not to Last

The highest price in nine years is not indicative of a new supercycle.

So hot right now.

So hot right now.

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images Europe

It’s going to be a good summer for corn farmers. Speculators best hope it’s a very dry one, too.

Having scraped $7.50 a bushel, corn is up roughly 50% so far this year, hitting its highest level since 2012. Like all commodities, it’s feeling the recovery from Covid-19, including big post-pandemic restocking by China. A rebound in gasoline demand, with its attendant corn-based ethanol component, helps too. The essential element is on the supply side, however, with drought, both actual and feared, providing an extra boost.