Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alert: Wheat Crisis

"MOSCOW — A severe drought destroyed one-fifth of the wheat crop in Russia, one of the world's largest exporters, and now wildfires are sweeping in to finish off some of the fields that remained.

Expectations that Russia will slash exports by at least 30 percent have sent wheat prices soaring and this is good news for farmers in the world's largest wheat exporter — the United States.

The higher wheat prices may mean that Americans and Europeans pay slightly more for bread, but the bigger burden will fall on people in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia, analysts say. "

and from the FT:

"Wheat prices have seen the biggest one-month jump in more than three decades on the back of a severe drought in Russia, prompting warnings by the food industry of rising prices for flour-related products such as bread and biscuits.

Food executives are also warning about surging prices for feeding and malting barley, which could push higher the retail cost of products from poultry to beer. "

And also note that the harvests have been lousy in Western Asia this year! In Lebanon, it was 50% less than the usual harvest.

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