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May 29, 2008

Don’t blame price hikes on corn

It is ridiculous to blame the rising cost of a movie ticket on ethanol (5/23, A-1, “Corn costs adding pop to prices at the movies; Kansas City-based AMC will increase ticket and popcorn prices at its area locations”).

In 2007, the farm price for popcorn was 13 cents per pound. Prior to popping, the average $5 tub contains 0.15 pounds, or about 2 cents’ worth of popcorn. Even if the price of popcorn would have doubled in the last year, there would be only about 4 cents’ worth of popcorn in the $5 tub at the theater.

Additionally, the paper pulp used to produce popcorn tubs has jumped 40 percent in the past 36 months. This increase makes the popcorn less expensive than the tub it comes in.

Lastly, popcorn and field corn, used primarily for livestock feed and ethanol, are not the same. It is irresponsible to paint ethanol as the scapegoat at the expense of farmers.

Mike Geske
President, Missouri Corn Growers Association
Matthews, Mo.

So now you are blaming corn for the increase in the price of movie tickets. What will you blame corn for next — the war in Iraq? The lack of a qualified presidential candidate? Global warming?

Corn is an easy target at the moment, and there is nothing to blame for its price increase except simple supply and demand and a weak dollar.

More human beings are emerging from poverty than at any time in history. People in China and India are entering the middle class at a staggering rate. Of course, the first thing people do as they emerge from poverty is improve their diets. They can now afford to buy food!

So quit the “corn blame game” and start reporting the real story: the fact that the world is eating better and the demand for grain products will only continue to grow as long as our dollar is weak.

Gary Vandiver
Richmond

Comments

Sammy

"You cant expect farmers to go broke growing cheap food for you."

NYAJ - This thinking is the very reason corn prices didn't rise with inflation. Subsidizing farmers to raise corn through the price supports (government makes up the difference between the market price of corn and a government deemed "profitable" target price), kept the supply of corn high relative to demand, thereby keeping the price low.

Farmers needn't be shielded from the same market forces that other business owners are exposed to. If they can't make a living growing corn (without price supports), they need to find someway or something else to do it.

Taking away the price support for corn would cause corn farmers to grow other crops, raise livestock or do something else entirely, which would lower the supply of corn and bring the market price to a more profitable point relative to supply.

The ethanol demand, however, for the time being has driven up demand enough to make corn growing a profitable enterprise

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

If you don't like the price of an entertainment venue, then don't go.
People are NOT entitled to entertainment.
hell you can just watch C-SPAN for a night full of tragic comedy.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

"Corn is an easy target at the moment, and there is nothing to blame for its price increase except simple supply and demand and a weak dollar. "

Democrats a.k.a "progressives" do not understand supply and demand, only entitlement.

They demand and others supply. That is their economics 101.

stone

the movie ticket prices in KC are still lower than the national average (for AMC) anyways. quit complaining, and go watch one of the many terrible movies out in theatres now

Stifled Freedom

In the 1940s corn was one to two bucks bushel. From there, all the farmer's expenses rose which include fuel, fertilizer, labor, equipment, etc, but the price of corn stayed the same. At some point the economics catchup. You cant expect farmers to go broke growing cheap food for you.

The average age of the American farmer is over 70 years old. There aren't any new farmers because its a losing proposition and has been since the 1970s. If corn prices had risen with inflation along with everythign else since the 1940s, the price would probably be even higher than $4-5 a bushel.

Rogue

I guess I am confused. Corn for most of my lifetime was around a buck to at the most two bucks a bushel. Now3 it is what $4.00, $5.00?

And now that 200% increase has no impact?

OK, gotcha....no big deal, just keep on putting your food in your gas tank. That way all the water melons will be happy.

 
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