Good morning, and welcome to our ongoing coverage of business, financial markets, and the global economy.
Wheat prices have soared on world markets after Russia this week withdrew from a deal guaranteeing safe passage for ships carrying grain through the Black Sea.
Russia has carried out heavy airstrikes against Ukraine’s grain warehouses and port infrastructure in the Black Sea port of Odessa.
President Vladimir Putin has said he would return to the grain deal if his demands, which include improving Russia’s grain and fertilizer exports and reconnecting Russia’s agricultural bank to a global payments system, are met.
The Black Sea deal was negotiated by the UN and Turkey in July last year amid a global food crisis exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, sending wheat prices soaring. Both countries are among the world’s leading cereal exporters.
Wheat prices rose more than 8% yesterday, while corn prices rose more than 5%. Chicago wheat futures were up another 1% today.
In Great Britain, a new wave of rail strikes over job security and wages has begun, with up to 20,000 RMT workers at 14 rail companies joining pickets across the country today. They will be on strike for 24 hours today and again on Saturday, just as the summer holidays start and many families go on vacation.
There will also be strikes on the London Underground next week, in 10 days of transport disruption.
13:30 BST: Initial US jobless claims for the week of July 15
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