Food Business News - Feb 19, 2008 - (Page 1)

FoodBusinessNews ® February 19, 2008 NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY Stunning volatility roils wheat markets 20 Slow churning trends 29 The challenge of obesity 35 MARKET WATCH Refined cane sugar price 46.00 KANSAS CITY - Continuing a period of unprecedented wheat market volatility, wheat futures prices tumbled from record levels last week, but remained at breathtaking heights. The plunge began on Feb. 11 after several days during which trading was suppressed by contracts locking up the prevailing 30c-per-bu daily limit amid fears about tight supplies of spring wheat and other wheat classes. The string of limit-up price moves, particularly in the old crop months, prevented index funds from beginning to roll their positions forward from the March contracts (which were approaching expiration), wreaked havoc in the cash wheat markets and brought flour bookings nearly to a halt. Under futures trading rules, contracts may trade only within a certain range around the previous day's closing price. In the case of wheat futures, the Continued on Page 26 Wheat futures market volatility has been extraordinary in recent weeks. cents per lb 40.25 34.50 28.75 23.00 Feb. 2005 Futures markets raise daily price limits to relieve pressure COURTESY OF THE KANSAS CITY BOARD OF TRADE Consumers looking for alternatives in soft drinks Feb. 2006 Feb. 2007 Feb. 2008 Sugar prices rose 15% after the Imperial Sugar Co. explosion. Explosion closes Imperial Sugar refinery in Georgia PORT WENTWORTH, GA. - An explosion at an Imperial Sugar refinery injured over 40, killed at least 8 workers and closed the facility. The explosion occurred Feb. 7 and areas of the facility were still burning a week later. The refinery, which sits on a 160-acre site, was only 12% destroyed by the explosion and fire, according to a company spokesman. "A far as we know, it was a sugar dust explosion," said John Sheptor, Imperial's president and chief executive officer. He said it happened in a storage silo where the refined sugar was stored until packaging. Authorities estimated that up to 100 people were working at the facility at the time of the explosion. As many as 40 employees were transported to area hospitals and 8 have been confirmed dead. "We are all concerned for the welfare Continued on Page 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - Feb 19, 2008


Food Business News - Feb 19, 2008