I’m a-leavin’ tomorrow, but I could leave today

Sitting at Manchester Airport, awaiting departure:

Manchester

At least there’s soy milk. And non-Starbucks, to boot. I did remember a discovery made last week, when I landed: this airport is loaded with bloody fruit machines (Americans: slot machines. Australians: pokies). They’re everywhere. I was struck by the discovery more, last week, because I landed at 5:30am, and people were playing them, waiting for their flights to begin (non-Brits: these will cost pounds at a time – they aren’t small affairs).

Meanwhile, I’m paying GPB for an hour of the slowest internet in my memory.

On to a food story:

Wheat prices rise to record levels

U.S. wheat prices rose to record levels Thursday, as demand for U.S. supplies climbed and reports showed shrinking harvests in some exporting regions including Canada, Australia and the European Union.

Sugar prices also rose, touching a two-week high, on speculation that Russia might step up imports.

Taiwan flour millers said they intended to buy 92,000 tons of U.S. wheat. Japan bought 30,000 tons of Canadian wheat, and India said it was seeking 100,000 tons. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast a fall in global inventories to their lowest level in 26 years.

“Even when another country makes a sale of wheat, it’s bullish for us because it’s pulling more wheat off the market,” said Jason Britt, an analyst at Central States Commodities in Kansas City, Missouri. “It just shows how tight world stocks are.”

Prices were also being supported by signs of poor harvests in several countries. Canada may produce its smallest wheat crop in five years because of reduced plantings and drought damage, a government survey showed. Canada is the second-biggest exporter of wheat behind the United States.

Production in the EU could fall 38 percent by May 31 from a year earlier, the USDA said, because drought followed by excessive rain harmed crops in France, Germany and Britain.

Sugar prices rose in New York to their highest in almost two weeks after Russia, the world’s largest sugar importer, said it might raise the import duty by to $220 a metric ton from $140 per ton as early as December.

Russian importers may already be buying to beat the duty increase, said Mike McDougall, senior vice president for Fimat USA in New York.

My hope is that people don’t starve: in the famous words of Regina Spektor, that it will leave the ones I love and never come again (November Rain really is a cool song). Secondarily, I hope talk about crop-grown bloody bio-fuels lets off equally forever.

Nothing’s being priced too too highly, still. We shall see.

Commodities

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3 comments so far

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