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Those who continue even today to suggest that ethanol and corn demand for ethanol production are driving food prices have lost all credibility because corn prices have fallen, energy prices have fallen,'' Dinneen said in a telephone interview from Washington this week. ``The only thing not falling today are food prices, and I think consumers are starting to wonder just what's going on.''

``There are lots of food products for which there is very little delay -- eggs and chickens,'' according to the trade- group chief. ``Yet food prices are still up there.''

The CHART OF THE DAY compares the relative price changes of wholesale ready-to-cook chicken breasts in the U.S., crude oil and corn for March 2009 delivery. In a second panel, the monthly consumer price index on meats, poultry, fish and eggs for U.S. urban consumers is shown.

Ethanol production has increased since June, ``when food versus fuel was at its peak,'' Dinneen said. ``What was really driving consumer price increases then were skyrocketing energy prices, increased demand, speculation.''

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aDmUKZXaaFlg


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