Good News: Global Wheat, Other Staple Food Prices Spiking, Too

Well, this is one you can’t really blame on Brandon, except in his mishandling of Russia, kinda daring Putin to invade Ukraine. You probably haven’t heard much of this, but, you might have noticed that some bread products are in low supply or missing. I love bagels. The plain Lidl brand are in short supply, and half the time I stop there there are none. The Sam’s Club brand, along with their cheese version, are rare at the two Walmarts I go to. Other brands typically do not have a lot on the shelf. There also seems to be low quantity of English muffins. And wheat is used for quite a few other products.

Russia-Ukraine war could bring ‘biblical event’ as global wheat supply disrupted: Expert

Joe Biden Ice Cream AfghanistanGrain prices were already rising before Russia invaded Ukraine, and recent days have seen unprecedented further gains as two of the world’s biggest producers are at war.

Wheat closed in Chicago at the highest price ever on Monday. Benchmark corn and soybean futures have each surged by 26% this year. Those kinds of increases in food-staple commodities have been associated with social unrest throughout history.

“Remember, bread riots are what started the Arab Spring, bread riots are what started the French Revolution,” said Sal Gilbertie, CEO of Teucrium, the largest U.S. exchange-traded fund issuer focused solely on agriculture funds. “It is a biblical event when you run low on wheat stocks. You won’t see a global food shortage. Unfortunately, what you’re going to see globally is that billions of people might not be able to afford to buy the food.”

Gilbertie doesn’t think the world will run out of wheat — but prices could continue to rise, and that will be most problematic for vulnerable global populations. “Ukraine dominates what they call the sun-seed market,” he said. “Sunflower oil is a major component of cooking oil and food, and you see palm oil rising, and soybean oil rising. That is a big deal, especially for the poorest of the poor, where cooking is a big part of the daily budget.”

People do not tend to notice the rising food prices directly like they do gasoline (and, remember, the rising cost of gas will increase food prices due to delivery cost increases), but, they do notice the slowly rising prices. We’ve already seen the cost increases for beef, chicken, pork, and others, along with shortages.

Let’s bring it back to wheat as an example of the impact of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. According to the same organization, Russia was the top exporter of wheat by metric tonnes shipped in 2020 and Ukraine the fifth largest. By contrast, China and India top Russia when it comes to production — but consume most of the crops domestically.

How much does that affect the global market? What if Putin decides to not ship that wheat? It’s certainly tough to grow it in Ukraine, harvest it, and ship it in a time of war, right?

As a sidebar, perhaps it’s time to end the ethanol mandates, stop using food to create fuel.

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7 Responses to “Good News: Global Wheat, Other Staple Food Prices Spiking, Too”

  1. Dana says:

    Alas! Thomas, the leading baker of English muffins and bagels for a time at least was making a combination between the two, denser than an English muffin but not as dense as a bagel. I thought that they were great, but Kroger only carried them intermittently, and I haven’t seen them at all for a couple of years now. This has been, at least to me, almost as devastating as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex abandoning the Royal Family.

  2. Hairy says:

    Yes the invasion of Ukraine by Trump’s friend Putin has created worldwide problems. Only a stable genis like Trump would recognize Putin’s blunder as a genius move. The pro Putin/Trump wing of the zrepublican party is growing and continuing to promote the idea that Putin had a “right” to invade

  3. Hairy says:

    They may be withdholding them from some red states Dana
    Kroger of course is heavily unionized and pays above industry standards to its workers
    Thomas’s are owned by the giant Mexican baking company Bimbo. They give 5x as much money to the lefty Dems in political contributions
    Soros insists that all of us minions eat only that brand of englidh muffins. They may be putting in some sort of left inducing drug in the.
    Be careful

  4. alanstorm says:

    As a sidebar, perhaps it’s time to end the ethanol mandates, stop using food to create fuel.

    To be fair, AFAIK the corn raised for ethanol is not necessarily good for feedstocks. However, using acreage for growing fuel in addition to that used for food is not a brilliant idea.

  5. Professor hale says:

    Good thing none of us depend on food.

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