QUOTE AND NEWS
Agrimoney.com  Sep 16  Comment 
Egypt's Gasc authority makes its biggest wheat order from France in 20 months, at prices far undercutting those of Russian and US grain
Agrimoney.com  Sep 16  Comment 
US growers are a little ahead of normal on winter wheat plantings. But the overall figure disguises regional differences
Agrimoney.com  Sep 15  Comment 
Abares, noting reduced Chinese import needs, cuts its forecast for Australia's wheat shipments, and trims ideas of canola exports too
Agrimoney.com  Sep 15  Comment 
Corn and soybean prices get a lift from the prospect of data questioning US acreage estimates. But sugar and wheat futures set fresh four-year lows
Insurance Journal  Sep 15  Comment 
Crop insurance agents in North Dakota say they have begun receiving claims and expect more than the usual number to come in because a lot of wheat still unharvested. The Bismarck Tribune reports that a snowy April and wet May … The article...
Agrimoney.com  Sep 15  Comment 
Hedge funds take their positioning on agricultural commodities to the most bearish since January, amid increased confidence in supplies




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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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