Wheat prices soar to highest since 2008, trade ‘limit up’ on potential Russia supply hit

Ears of wheat are seen in a field near the village of Hrebeni in Kyiv region, Ukraine July 17, 2020.

Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters

The price of wheat on Tuesday rose to its highest levels in more than a decade, with traders concerned about global supply disruption as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine advanced.

A convoy of Russian military vehicles is approaching Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, satellite imagery taken Monday indicated.

Wheat futures reached 984 cents per bushel at the highs of Tuesday’s session – the highest since April 4, 2008, when wheat traded as high as 985.5 cents per bushel.

The grain traded “limit up,” which refers to the highest amount the price of a commodity is allowed to increase in a single day. As of 8:44 am ET, wheat traded at 982.75 cents per bushel, up 5.22%.

Russia is the largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine is among the four-biggest exporters of the commodity, according to JPMorgan.

Out of the 207-million-ton international wheat trade, 17% comes from Russia and 12% comes from Ukraine, according to Bank of America.

“Wheat and corn are the most exposed agricultural markets to any potential escalation in tensions,” JPMorgan’s Marko Kolanovic said in a Feb. 14 note.

Corn futures on Tuesday also hit a high of 724.5 cents per bushel, their highest level since May. Trading was also halted and corn futures last traded at 721.75 cents per bushel, up 4.49%.

—CNBC’s Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.

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