TIGHT SUPPLY: U.S. corn reserves are forecast to fall to 675 million bushels in late August, or roughly 5 percent of all corn consumed in the United States. That would be the lowest surplus level since 1996.
ETHANOL DEMAND: Rising demand from ethanol makers is limiting supplies. The Department of Agriculture raised its forecast of demand from ethanol makers 1 percent to 5 billion bushels, about 40 percent of the total crop.
FOOD PRICES: Corn prices affect most products in supermarkets. Corn is used to feed the cattle, hogs and chickens that fill the meat case, and it is the main ingredient in cereals and soft drinks.