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1.31.2011

An era of cheap food may be drawing to a close

Source: Reuters

U.S. grain prices should stay unrelentingly high this year, according to a Reuters poll, the latest sign that the era of cheap food has come to an end.

U.S. corn, soybeans and wheat prices -- which surged by as much has 50 percent last year and hit their highest levels since mid-2008 -- will dip by at most 5 percent by the end of 2011, according to the poll of 16 analysts.

The expectations may also strengthen importers' resolve to build bigger inventories after a year in which stocks of corn and soybeans in the United States -- the world's top exporter -- dwindled to their lowest level in decades.

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