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Observers of global grain markets will be familiar with the “Great Grain Robbery” of 1972. This was not a robbery in the traditional sense. Rather, it was a period when the US sold large volumes of grains to the former Soviet Union at subsidised prices, not realising there would soon be a poor grain harvest across several major grain-producing countries.

In addition, there was a rise in demand for grains from the global livestock industry, as well as US farm policies at the time that discouraged the expansion of soya bean production, a key input for the livestock industry (in the place of maize)...

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