Political instability, weather spur wheat prices

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Market analysts say political instability in the Ukraine,
freeze damage and drought are conspiring to drive up wheat prices.

U.S. Wheat Associates, the industry's agricultural trade group, says in a
recent report that concern over the political situation in Ukraine _ which
supplies 6 percent of the world's wheat export market _ was one of the factors
for the price spikes.

But the group's market analyst, Casey Chumrau, also says fears about drought in
the United States and other wheat-producing countries are pushing prices higher.

Also spurring market concerns is the potential for freeze damage stemming from
this year's frigid winter.

It's unclear how much consumers will be affected by the increases, but analysts
say U.S. farmers are poised to cash in on the uncertainty.

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