Monday, February 25, 2008

Wheat prices in biggest one-day rise

From the Financial Times:

Prices of top-quality wheat jumped 25 per cent to a record high on Monday in their largest one-day increase as Kazakhstan, one of the largest grain exporters, said it would impose export tariffs to curb sales.

The move, which follows similar export restrictions in Russia and Argentina, is likely to put further pressure on already tight global wheat supplies, analysts said.

...Spring wheat at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange surged an unprecedented $4.75 to a record high of $24 a bushel as consumers scrambled to secure supplies and speculators poured fresh money into the agriculture market.

The price of spring wheat, used to bake bread, has more than doubled since January and has risen fourfold in the last year, contributing to a rise in global food inflation.

Gavin Maguire, of Iowa Grain in Chicago, said consumers such as mills and bakers, who needed wheat, were “panicking”.

He said: “Historical references are useless. We are breaking all the rules.”>>>MORE