What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Global wheat supply, the Suez Canal, and Atlanta’s grease goldmine

Katharine Crnko Feb 1, 2011

As protests continue today in Egypt, the global business community focuses on spikes in oil and wheat prices. The World Bank says 30 million Egyptians are impoverished, and most spend half their income on food. Egypt and surrounding countries have started ordering large amounts of grain to feed their citizens should the unrest spread.

The global economy is focused on the Suez Canal — the passage between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. While the Suez Canal is only responsible for 2 or 3 percent of the global oil supply, economists fear the unrest might spread into other, much bigger oil producing countries perhaps even the big one, Saudi Arabia. According to Juli Niemann, it won’t be long before the events in Egypt take their toll at the gas pump.

Speaking of oil, there’s a new fight over the rights of Atlanta’s supply of cooking grease. The grease is increasingly re-sold to make alternative fuel, and restaurant and bar owners have found themselves in the middle of a messy battle pitting grease collector again grease collector.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.