Record-high temperatures in Europe have damaged crops, causing a global price cascade.
Unusually hot temperatures have been adversely affecting summer crops (such as lemons) here in the United States—but this year's global heat wave has been even more of an issue overseas.
Some of the biggest producers of wheat in the world—Russia, Australia, and the European Union—are smack in the middle of a series of widespread droughts and heatwaves, which are sending the world market into the first wheat deficit in six years, according to a Bloomberg report. Some European nations have experienced little to no returns, which would result in total shortages if the global market didn't have a stockpile from previous seasons.
The resulting shortage is affecting prices on a variety of products. Bread, pasta, cereals, biscuits, cakes—even beer—are becoming more expensive around the world, and as global prices rise, it could affect prices here.
The United States will soon be exporting more wheat than normal to nations such as Germany and Ukraine, Bloomberg reports, which will only be an issue for American shoppers if unseasonable weather continues. Domestic crops aren't as damaged by heat as those wheat crops grown overseas, but the surplus of wheat in the global trade market won't tide the food industry over if the next crop also turns out to be affected.
Looking to rely less on wheat in your kitchen? Read on:
- 14 Gluten-Free Recipes That Don't Feel Low Carb
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- Our Master List to All the Kitchen Staples Containing Wheat
In 2010, Russian officials banned wheat exports to other nations after a particularly hot season burned wheat crops up. That move ended up causing bread prices to inflate across many areas, Bloomberg reports, but as of right now, there aren't any bans on wheat exports by any nations.