Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Durum wheat price is set to whet appetites

Pasta grain is on the boil and investors might find it tasty.

A rise in the price of durum wheat is bad news for those buying pasta, but it bodes well for investors.

Durum wheat for delivery to Port-la-Nouvelle on the Mediterranean Sea, which handles exports of the grain also used for cous cous, rose to 336.58 a tonne last week, its highest point in nine weeks.

Abah Ofon, an analyst of soft commodities at Standard Chartered, said he expected the wheat market to remain "elevated" until the end of this year's first quarter. "Current prices are still well below the highs seen in 2007 and 2008 and we do not expect the market to rally to the extent that it did then," he added.

The peak in prices in those years was prompted in large part by the effects of extreme weather on global harvests in 2006 and 2007.

The latest price jump comes amid soaring global food prices, which reached a record high last month, according to the latest data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Prices began to rise sharply in the second half of last year because of a combination of poor harvests in Russia and Pakistan, stockpiling by large countries such as China and India, and trade barriers leading to supply pressures.

Overall food prices in the UAE crept up 1.04 per cent in the first 11 months of last year compared with the same period the previous year. The slight rise masked bigger jumps in the cost of food staples.

Mr Ofon said wheat price rises would hinge largely on the potential recovery in Russia's output and an eventual lifting of its ban on exports. Russia banned exports of wheat in August to control domestic prices. It led prices to their highest levels in two years at the time.

"We expect pressure to mount as planting intentions in the US and Russia become clearer in March and May, respectively, although the US's ability to increase wheat acreage will be compromised by competition from other crops," he said.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National