4 Aug 2010

Wheat prices rising due to conditions in Russia

6:16 am on 4 August 2010

Wheat prices have hit a 22-month high after a severe drought and ensuing wildfires in Russia devastated crops.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat for September delivery broke above $US7 per bushel level in US trade for the first time since September 2008, before falling to $US6.93. Prices have risen 50% since late June.

The BBC reports concerns are growing that the rise will lead to an increase in prices of flour-related products such as bread and biscuits.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Russia was the world's fourth largest wheat exporter in the 12 months to June behind the United States, the EU and Canada.

It accounted for about 25% of the world's wheat exports last year.

Prices dropped slightly after Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Belyayev said that there was no need for Moscow to restrict its grain exports at the moment.

The BBC reports Russia has high levels of grain in reserves and will start using those.