Wheat prices hit 14-year high, global food stocks fear alarm

Chicago wheat futures rose for three days in a row, hitting a 14-year high on the 2nd, as conflicts between major exporters Russia and Ukraine sparked fears of commodity disruptions.

Wheat futures jumped to their highest gain for three days in a row, and settled up 7.62% on the 2nd to $10.59 a bushel, the first since March 26, 2008; corn prices hit $7.4775 a bushel on Wednesday, the highest since 2012 , also rose to its highest gain, while corn futures settled at $7.27 a bushel.

Russia is the largest wheat exporter and Ukraine is one of the top four exporters of wheat, with the two countries together accounting for 20% of corn and most of the sunflower oil. Bank of America alleges that Russia provides 17 percent of the 207 million tons of international wheat trade and Ukraine 12 percent.

Ukraine, which is responsible for exporting half of the world’s sunflower oil, plans to plant in April and May, which is about the same time as corn planting. Crop prices climbed as a hampered harvest and labor shortages tightened supplies, and a rebound in recent weeks could be enough to push global food costs to record levels, Bloomberg said.

In addition, fertilizer exports will also be interrupted. Brazil will plant a large area of ​​soybeans in September and need to import more than 80% of its fertilizers, so it is particularly dependent on Russian products.

Global grain stocks are poised for a fifth straight decline, while major importing regions such as North Africa are expected to see a smaller harvest in 2022 as drought looms.

CRM AgriCommodities, an agricultural research institute, believes that the Russian-Ukrainian crisis not only threatens Ukraine’s sovereignty, but will expand its scope to the country’s food security already under pressure from soaring food prices.

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