Milling & Baking News - January 15, 2008 - (Page 1)

THE NEWS WEEKLY OF GRAIN-BASED FOODS JANUARY 15, 2008 / Share prices in 2007 reflect impact of dramatic ingredient price surge NEWS W N.Y.S.E. closing bell part of major foundation media effort Story on Page 16 LATE NEWS Winter wheat seeded area up 4% WASHINGTON - U.S. winter wheat seeded in 2007 for harvest in 2008 was expected to total 46,610,000 acres, up 1,623,000 acres, or 4%, from 44,987,000 acres seeded a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual Winter Wheat Seedings report. The estimate was at the low end of trade expectations that averaged 48.7 million acres. Area for hard red winter wheat seedings was estimated at 32.5 million acres, down 1% from 32.9 million seeded in 2006, soft red winter at 10.5 million acres, up 21% from 8.65 million, and white winter at 3.65 million acres, up 7% from 3.4 Continued on Page 8 hile 2007 was memorable for its commodity price surge, the year largely was forgettable when it comes to the share price performance of grain-based foods companies. The Grain-Based Foods Share Index closed in 2007 at 11657.58, up 115 points, or 1%, from 11542.79 at the end of 2006. Both the 115-point and 1% gain were the smallest for a year, either up or down, in more than 15 years. While the 2007 close of 11657.58 was the highest ever for the end of a year, the figure was well beneath the 2007 high of 12018.59 set in July. Even at the July peak, though, the index was up only 4% from the 2006 close. The late-year weakness widely was attributed to margin pressure resulting in large part from record high ingredient and other costs. While the G.B.F. index performance over the course of 2007 bore a similar shape to the broader market, the gains lagged. The 1% gain compared with a 6.4% gain in the Dow Jones average of industrial shares in 2007 and a 3.5% rise in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.8% in 2007. The Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 climbed 3.9%. Compared with S.&P. industry sectors, the G.B.F. index lagged a 12.77% gain in consumer staples. In fact, the 1% gain lagged all S.&P. sectors except Continued on Page 22 Three bakers among group of six to be inducted into Hall of Fame CHICAGO - Two specialty bakers and a regional baker will join the inventor of the bread slicing machine, a yeast company executive and an association leader as the newest inductees in the Baking Hall of Fame. The American Society of Baking announced the 2008 inductees on Jan. 2. Bakers to be inducted into the Baking Hall of Fame include Samuel B. Thomas, Thomas' English Muffins/ George Weston Bakeries; Charles T. Meyer, Meyer Family Bakeries; and Charles Matthaei, Roman Meal. Others to be inducted into the hall of fame are, for equipment manufacturing, Otto Rohwedder, inventor of the first bread slicing machine; for ingredient technology, Charles Fleischmann, Fleischmann's Yeast; and for industry service, Victor Marx, founder and first secretary (president) of the American Society of Bakery Engineers. Mr. Matthaei is the only honoree who is still living. "The selection of these six individuals represents a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation across the industry," said George Poulos, A.S.B. chairman. "We all continue to Continued on Page 12

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Milling & Baking News - January 15, 2008