North American Millers, Bakers Scramble to Satisfy Bread-Buying Binge

CHICAGO/WINNIPEG, Manitoba — North American flour mills and bakeries are rushing to boost production as the spread of the new coronavirus leads to stockpiling of staples like bread and pasta.

The virus’ spread prompted orders to stay at home in some U.S. states, including New York, California and Illinois last week following similar measures in Asia and Europe. Depleted store shelves in both the United States and Canada reflect hoarding and a spike in demand for foods consumed at home.

Chicago May wheat futures were up more than 3% on Monday and hit a one-month high on strong global demand, while premiums for certain grades of milling wheat surged last week.

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