Rising cost of wheat, soybeans, corn hit food processors hard

In 2004, Interstate Bakeries Corp., maker of all-American brands Wonder bread and Hostess Twinkies, filed for bankruptcy partly due to escalating costs, including $4-a-bushel wheat.

Today, as the baking behemoth tries to manage its way out of bankruptcy, it’s dealing with wheat prices that have sometimes reached three times that price at $13 a bushel.

In fact, in just the past year a number of commodities crucial to food manufacturers have soared to record-breaking prices, with wheat up 107 percent, soybeans 65 percent and corn 61 percent.

Robert Kissick, senior vice president of purchasing for Interstate, said a slew of factors in the years since the filing have pushed prices of commodities crucial to companies like IBC to incomprehensible levels. Things as seemingly unrelated as weather patterns in Australia, international monetary policy and efforts to cut U.S. dependence on imported oil have all played a part.

Read the full story at