The Wall Street Journal reports that corn prices have increased 50% this year. Corn is the U.S.'s biggest cash crop. It's used as animal feed, converted into fuel, made into sweeteners, and used in a wide variety of food products. One reason for the jump in prices is a drought that's affected a large part of the U.S. Corn Belt. Another reason is to feed pigs in China.
From the WSJ:
China is on a corn-buying binge while racing to fatten millions of hogs to replace the pigs it had to kill during an outbreak of African swine fever before the pandemic. China is expected this year to import about four times what it normally buys from abroad, most of it from U.S. farmers.
Corn joins lumber, copper, petroleum and other materials that have seen sharp price jumps this year.