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The prospects for making'industrial .products from agricultural materials hinge'on " bio-processors' ability to produce at lower cost than petroleum processors and'gain market share; There are several reasons to expect strengthening competition from the agricultural processing sector. First, petroleum inputs'" have had a price advantage over agricultural inputs for more than a century. But this advantage may be coming to an'end; Corn was seven times more expensive than petroleum on a'pound basis at the turn of the century "and again during World War II. However, the relative price of corn has steadily fallen throughout the post war period as food demands grew slowly while'petroleum demands expanded with the industrial economy. The relative price of corn has how fallen to the lowest level since the civil war (Figure 1)'.

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This report is published in Gallagher, Paul W., and Don Johnson. A Market Development Plan for a Biobased Processing Industry. No. 12565. 1995.