Agrimoney.com  Sep 14  Comment 
French wheat exports will, thanks to a poor harvest, plunge 45%, led by trade outside the EU. Barley, durum shipments will suffer too
Agrimoney.com  Sep 14  Comment 
Corn and soybean futures, and cotton, gain, helped by South America worries. Wheat dips. But history suggest it could soon prove - relatively - firm
Agrimoney.com  Sep 12  Comment 
Hedge funds cut bullish ag bets to a four-month low. But that disguises positioning for US cotton damage, and tightness in hard wheat supplies
Agrimoney.com  Sep 12  Comment 
The Wasde supports wheat and weighs on soybeans and cotton, while sugar rallies on trim to hedge fund long positions
Agrimoney.com  Sep 12  Comment 
Abares lifts barley, canola, wheat harvest forecasts to among the highest ever, citing "very favourable" conditions. But who will buy the crop?
Agrimoney.com  Sep 9  Comment 
UK wheat exports reportedly doubled in July, but demand has quietened since. Still, the latest crop may have a record protein level on its side
Benzinga  Sep 9  Comment 
December Chicago Wheat is trading at 404, down 2 cents/bushel. March Chicago Wheat is trading at 425, down 2 1/4 cents/bushel. December Kansas City Wheat is trading at 417, down 1 cent/bushel. The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand...
Agrimoney.com  Sep 8  Comment 
Robusta extends gains for the seventh straight session, helped by dryness fears in Brazil
Agrimoney.com  Sep 8  Comment 
Low quality French wheat will face stiff competition North African markets, Strategie Grains president Andreand#233;and#8200;Defois tells Agrimoney.com
Benzinga  Sep 8  Comment 
December Chicago Wheat is trading at 403, up 1/4 of a cent/bushel. March Chicago Wheat is trading at 422 3/4, up 1/2 of a cent/bushel. December Kansas City Wheat is trading at 412, up 1 cent/bushel. Wheat futures are trading steady early...


This article describes a specific commodity. For grains prices in general, see the article on Grains Prices. For specific futures contracts, see the below section on wheat futures contracts.

Wheat is a commodity input that goes into many food products, from pasta to bread to baked sweets. Wheat futures on Chicago's commodities exchange more than doubled in September 2007 compared to the previous year, going from $3.95 a bushel to nearly $9. What's driving up wheat prices is a matter of simple supply and demand, as bad weather, including a spate of hurricanes, have created shortages of this important grain.

A more fundamental problem compounding the recent effects of bad weather is that farmers are increasingly switching to grow corn because of the skyrocketing demand for the ethanol-producing grain.

The chart at left shows continuous front-month futures contracts for Wheat traded on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in cents per bushel.

Map of Where Wheat is Produced

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Companies Suffering from Rising Wheat Prices

Wheat is a truly global commodity input, as it is used for bread and pasta in Western countries and noodles in Asian countries. When wheat prices rise, companies are faced with the dilemma of taking a hit to gross margins or passing on cost increases to the consumer, which often decreases demand.

  • Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) are both producers of baked goods, especially bread. Wheat flour is the main ingredient in most baked goods. Sara Lee had acquired instruments to hedge against rising wheat prices, but prices rose above expected increases.
  • Kellogg (NYSE:K), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT), PepsiCo's (NYSE:PEP) Quaker Foods, and Nestle (Public, VTX:NESN) are all major producers of breakfast cereals, most of which are made partly from wheat.
  • Kraft Foods and PepsiCo's Frito-Lay are the largest multinational snack companies. Many of the products manufactured by these companies, including corn chips, cookies, and crackers, are made primarily of grain products.

Japanese Companies

Wheat Futures Contracts

See Also

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