Wheat is an essential ingredient in food that feeds the world. The price of wheat, like all agricultural commodities, depends on weather conditions in primary growing regions each year. In 2008, the price of wheat rose to its all-time peak price at $13.345 per bushel as drought conditions limited supplies and caused the price to explode to the upside. At… Read more »
Global premiums for high-protein wheat are expected to rise as unseasonal rains drive down quality in key producers, while Chicago futures are likely trade in a tight range in the next few months, a leading Singapore-based trader said on Wednesday.
A revival in British milling wheat premiums is, in rendering German supplies more competitive, threatening to revive UK imports, whose high level since the nightmare year of 2012 has surprised investors. While prices of higher quality wheat have outperformed worldwide – a reflection of a poor quality, if record large, global harvest – those in the UK appear to have… Read more »
Regular readers of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Weekly Price Report have seen a month-long uptick in wheat futures prices. Each week, many headlines pointed to political instability in Ukraine as a key factor in the run-up. There is little doubt that the market was factoring in some concern over the political situation in a country that captured 6 percent of the world wheat market in 2013/14. But the primary fuel for a 15 percent increase in the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) May hard red winter (HRW) wheat contract in just 13 trading days include real fears about droughts around the globe, potential freeze damage in the southern U.S. plains and position changes by the big index funds.
Wheat futures – weekly price report
This summer’s lingering drought—the worst in at least 50 years, with over 1,000 counties in 26 states currently qualifying for disaster relief—will inevitably cause a spike in food prices. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, corn is now 22% more expensive than at the beginning of the year, and soybeans are up 32% (see in “For Food, It’s the Bad and the Ugly”).
Reports that a company owned by Cargill and ABF bought all the available UK feed wheat last month has renewed calls for tighter regulation of commodity markets.
Traders reportedly told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that Frontier Agriculture bought all available May Futures contracts on the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (Liffe) in the period running up to the tender date in the last week of April.
Current uncertainty suggests further price gains are likely in wheat over the coming months with EU prices expected to set record highs prior to the new crop harvest, predicts agri commodity specialists Rabobank, who foresee a downward movement on sugar prices.
Last summer’s drought in Russia pushed wheat prices to their highest levels in years, and the fallout is a reminder of how much humanity depends on the rain. Now, scientists are searching for novel approaches to make wheat less vulnerable to drought.
Co-ordinated EU-wide action is needed urgently to end food price volatility induced by market speculation, warns the European Flour Milling Association after wheat prices reached a 23-month high yesterday.