The Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash over east Ukraine has had a direct effect on wheat prices, which have dramatically fluctuated over the past few days, an Australian agriculture expert said on Monday.
Malcolm Bartholomaeus from AvantiAgri Australia told the Australian Broadcast Commission (ABC) that Ukraine and Russia are major wheat exporters to the Middle East market.
He said the recent tragedy has meant a lot of volatility in the market that is expected to continue under these uncertain political conditions.
"Immediately after the tragedy, the wheat price spiked, which was in response to 'will that have an impact on the availability of wheat in that region?'."
"On Friday night the market had a sharp fall and that was really on the back of Putin coming out and saying 'let's have a ceasefire'."
Bartholomaeus said this may continue.
He said, "I think the other factor is the size of the Russian wheat crop being upgraded and apparently their level of sales is quite low.
"They haven't been selling it quite as rapidly as they normally would, so the fear now is that with other trade restraints or penalties being imposed on Russia they may in fact look to dump wheat on the world market."