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Best of NAMA 2020

By Keith Good, U of Illinois FarmDoc project

Nabih Bulos, Laura King, and Henry Chu reported on the front page of today's Los Angeles Times that, "A dozen days into a devastating war and a burgeoning refugee crisis, Russian forces on Monday launched withering new attacks on civilian areas and strategic centers in Ukraine, seeking to cripple the country's defenses and establish supremacy over its vital Black Sea coast."

On Monday, Bloomberg writers Kim Chipman and Megan Durisin reported that, "Chicago wheat settled at the highest price on record as Russia's intensifying war in Ukraine cuts off supplies from one of the world's leading breadbaskets.

“Wheat Settles at All-Time High as War Paralyzes Ukraine Trade,” by Kim Chipman and Megan Durisin. Bloomberg News (March 7, 2022).

"Benchmark futures climbed by the exchange limit of 85 cents, or 7%, to close at $12.94 a bushel. That builds on a massive surge of 41% last week, the biggest gain in data spanning six decades. The Paris contract for wheat breached an all-time high after jumping as much as 14%."

However, Chipman and Durisin pointed out that, "The gains stand in contrast to the cash market, where some buyers are balking at the lofty prices as traders try to get a handle on the war's impact."

On Tuesday, Bloomberg writers Megan Durisin, James Poole, and Sybilla Gross reported that, "Wheat futures reached unprecedented highs on Tuesday, highlighting the severe fallout for global food supplies from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Most-active futures in Chicago leaped to $13.635 a bushel at the start of the trading session, representing a stunning 77% gain in the staple grain's price this year. The world is facing a huge supply shock as the war cuts off shipments from a region that accounts for a quarter of global grains trade and the bulk of sunflower oil."

“Wheat Reaches Record, Surpassing Peak From Global Food Crisis,” by Megan Durisin, James Poole, and Sybilla Gross. Bloomberg News (March 8, 2022).

"Wheat Reaches Record, Surpassing Peak From Global Food Crisis," by Megan Durisin, James Poole, and Sybilla Gross. Bloomberg News (March 8, 2022).
"Wheat has since retreated from its peak, but remains at lofty heights. The last time the grain was near these levels came during a 2008 food crisis that sparked political unrest worldwide. Rapeseed and canola futures also reached fresh records, and corn has risen by a quarter this year."

Also this week, Reuters writer Kevin Liffey reported that, "Leading Moscow agriculture consultancy SovEcon on Monday cut its forecast for Russian wheat exports for the period July 2021-June 2022 by 0.8 million tonnes to 33.5 million tonnes, the Interfax news agency reported."

And Bloomberg writers Thomas Gualtieri and Alonso Soto reported on Monday that, "The European Union could consider temporarily lifting a ban on imports of genetically modified grains from the U.S. and South America to help farmers struggling with supply disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine, according to Spain's Agriculture Minister Luis Planas.

"Spain and France have also proposed a waiver on agricultural goods with traces of herbicide to increase stocks and seek alternative suppliers of mainly corn, which is key for the production of animal feed."

"'This is a warning call for us to think about having the capacity to provide food security to our 450 million citizens,' said Planas in an interview with Bloomberg News. 'We need the European Union to add flexibility to grain import rules.'"

To view the complete report, click here.

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