Leading wheat buyer Egypt, importing more than 10 million tonnes per year, has said it has a strategic stock of about six months plus to last until January.
"Of course entering the markets for August shipment isn't likely now and that's because our local purchases leave us in a very comfortable position," Nomani Nomani, vice chairman of the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said last week.
In Asia, top grain consumers China and India have ample stocks of wheat and rice, thanks to near-record harvests in the last few years. U.S. corn export sources also noted that China and South Korea were ahead of the curve, booking larger shipments in anticipation of supply problems and high prices.
The surge in prices has revived memories of the 2007/08 food crisis which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated added 75 million to the number of chronically hungry people in the world. Other estimates put the increase at up to 160 million.
The International Grains Council's Grains and Oilseeeds Index, a weighted average of prices for wheat, corn, soybeans, soymeal, rice, barley, sorghum and rapeseed, rose this week to its highest level since July 2008.
While grain stocks currently stand 25 percent higher compared with 2008, according to IGC data, the devil is in the detail as China now has a large holding of wheat and corn and is unlikely to release it onto international markets.
Consumption of grains has steadily increased in recent years. The IGC forecast earlier this month it would rise by 1.8 percent in 2012/13 (July/June) boosted by increased meat consumption, particularly in developing countries.
Trade sources say Iran, while resting from a sanction-busting led shopping spree earlier this year and counting its domestic harvest, is checking international prices daily with a view to major purchases of grain.
Talks on multi-million tonne barter wheat deals with India and Pakistan have hit a wall and their failure will only intensify the country's purchasing needs.
Sticking with the Middle-East, crisis-torn Syria is in a chronic state, with the unintended impact of sanctions against the Assad regime leaving it unable to trade in big enough amounts to satisfy its grain import requirement of about 3 million tonnes.
Attempts at deals have failed repeatedly, with prices rising all the while.
"With the economy already a major concern, soaring grain prices will heap more and more pressure on the Syrian government. Forex reserves are at new lows and decreasing at a faster rate as commerce and the ability to collect taxes decreases," said Alan Fraser, Middle East analyst with security firm AKE.