Pricey Corn Has Farmers Feeding Wheat for Humans to Livestock


By Michael Hirtzer, Bloomberg

April 27, 2021


China’s expanding hog herd is vacuuming up the world’s feed grains and forcing traders to dip into wheat reserves, a crop that’s normally saved for humans to eat.


According to Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., one of the biggest agricultural traders, corn arriving in China will soon be more expensive than wheat.


“China continues to be buying everything they can,” ADM Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano said Tuesday on a call with investors. “They’re buying corn. But they’re buying wheat” as well.


The Asian nation’s soaring demand for animal feed has helped lift crop prices to the highest in years, benefitting traders like ADM and signaling higher meat prices for consumers.


Chinese hogs aren’t the only culprits behind pricey corn. The world’s cattle, hogs and chickens are all gobbling up the grain faster than farmers can grow it. Corn is so expensive that it has at times surpassed wheat, a rare occurrence...


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