A heatwave across southern Europe has seriously damaged corn crops in a region that accounts for nearly a fifth of the world's production, triggering warnings that British shoppers could face soaring bills and the economy may be hit by inflationary pressures.
Corn is a key animal feed, and its rising cost will push up meat prices. Drought in the US has already driven the highest-ever corn prices but over the past month temperatures across eastern Italy and the Black Sea region into Ukraine have soared.
Corn prices, up 54% since June, are trading at an all-time high of $8, Bloomberg reports. India has put off corn-sowing because of a late monsoon season, and Australian crops are facing below-average rainfall.