Last week, the price of wheat made national headlines. Drought in the Former Soviet Union has been pushing wheat prices higher. When Russia announced a temporary ban on wheat exports, the market spiked last Thursday and that’s when much of the media attention was generated. Some of the media reports felt it necessary to delve into what this means for consumers and the poor people of the world. One national television report said the price of a loaf of bread could increase by 30 cents. That’s extremely inaccurate. The Canadian Wheat Board has released some statistics to set the record straight. First of all, the value of wheat accounts for less than 10 per cent of the cost of a loaf of bread. A bushel of wheat makes about 67 standard loaves. At a wheat price of $4.50 a bushel, there is about 7 cents worth of wheat in a loaf of bread. Wheat futures on Thursday spiked to over $8 a bushel. At that price, there’s still only 12 cents worth of wheat in a loaf of bread. That five cent increase is a far cry from the 30 cents reported. It should also be noted that wheat fell back sharply on Friday and the price was little changed yesterday. I’m Kevin Hursh.
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