QUOTE AND NEWS
Agrimoney.com  Jul 26  Comment 
Will the west US Corn Belt receive rain needed to reverse a spreading drought? Futures trade narrowly - for now. Wheat spreads narrow on profit taking
Financial Times  Jul 24  Comment 
Prices hit four-year highs as scorched US plains crimp supply
The Economic Times  Jul 20  Comment 
Rajiv Yadav, vice president at COFCO Agri, said: "Depending on how the monsoon progresses, India is likely to import about 3 to 4 million tonnes of wheat until April."
Reuters  Jul 18  Comment 
Droughts are shrivelling high-quality wheat crops across the globe, sending prices to multi-year highs as bread makers scramble for supplies.
The Times of India  Jul 17  Comment 
GLOBAL-GRAINS/:GRAINS-Wheat falls to 17-day low as rains provide temporary relief
Forbes  Jul 16  Comment 
According to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, communion wafers must contain wheat. How does that affect Catholics who can't eat wheat or other grains that contain gluten because they have celiac disease?
The Times of India  Jul 16  Comment 
SYRIA-WHEAT/:Syria's state grain buyer changes payment terms for imported wheat
Agrimoney.com  Jul 14  Comment 
UK wheat sowings fall to one of the lowest in recent history, while spring barley area soars, reflecting measures to control the weed




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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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