Wheat climbed to the highest level since August 2008 in Chicago as drought threatened to damage crops in China, curbing global supplies, and as Middle Eastern and African nations boosted purchases to tackle food inflation.
March-delivery wheat rose as much as 1.1 percent to $8.84 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest for the most- active contract since Aug. 25, 2008, and was at $8.8275 at 10:59 a.m. Paris time. European wheat futures also gained.
Wheat has surged 83 percent in Chicago and more than doubled in Paris in the past year as drought in Russia and floods in Canada and Australia hurt crops. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa are speeding up grain purchases after rising food prices contributed to riots and protests.
Now China, the largest wheat producer, is facing severe drought in the main, winter-wheat growing region.