The International Grains Council has said that, in the EU in particular, the price of wheat has surged to new heights.

In Germany, German bakers association president Peter Becker has warned that the price of bread was expected to increase by 5% in the coming weeks, fuelled by the near doubling in the price of bread wheat in Germany during the past year to more than E200 per tonne.

And the price of items such as croissants, which contain both flour and dairy products like butter, are likely to go up even faster, becoming up to 17% more expensive, Becker predicted.

The baguette is forecast to rise in price by about 5% to 7% in France. This has aggravated political dissatisfaction. French newspaper Le Monde printed a cartoon of French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife, Cécilia, as Marie-Antoinette saying: "Let them eat cake."

"Against a background of tightening global supplies, grain export prices moved sharply higher in August," said The International Grains Council’s latest Grain Market Report, published on 23 August.

Continuing dry weather in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Ukraine is also partly to blame for the increasing cost of wheat.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) also announced that wheat production in Canada, the world’s second-largest wheat exporter, will be down by 19.6% on last year. In its grain market report in August, it said that wheat prices had gained between $20 and $35 per tonne.