Wheat prices are up and could go even higher

Close-up of a wheat field

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Just a couple of years ago, you remember, food prices soared to new highs. Rising demand, declining stockpiles, and some say speculators helped drive those prices higher. Well now, a scorching heat wave in Russia may be sending food prices skyward again. Christopher Werth has more.


Christopher Werth: Russian and Ukraine wheat farms make up one of the biggest bread baskets in the world. But with temperatures in Moscow reaching 100 degrees, crops have withered. A loss in wheat supply has sent prices soaring roughly 50 percent since the end of June -- the highest since 2008, when the food crisis sparked off riots around the world.

Michael Seery is with Olympus Futures in Chicago. He says with crops also affected by weather and pests in places such as Canada and Australia, prices could go higher:

Michael Seery: The thing with the futures market, it's pricing in basically all doom and gloom here. You now, wheat definitely, definitely can go higher. It's still almost half of what it was a coupe of years ago, and we had terrific droughts theer, in different parts of the world had the droughts, and that skyrocketed very quickly.

And remember, wheat is used to feed livestock and all sorts of other things, so higher wheat prices could cascade through the supermarket, raising the price on everything from beef to beer.

In London, I'm Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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