Thinking Citizen Blog — Putin’s War Triggers World Food Crisis
Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day
Today’s Topic: Putin’s War Triggers World Food Crisis
The Ukrainian government has banned the export of grain to secure its own wartime food supplies, but “at this point it can’t really export anyway: Russian warships are blocking access to its Black Sea ports; they have also destroyed port infrastructure and grain storage facilities, and have bombed at least three civilian ships carrying Ukrainian goods.” What about the ripple effects? “The UN World Food Program thinks that 44 million people are at risk of famine. And this is before the effects of the fertilizer shortage become apparent.” Today, a few more notes on the global consequences of Putin’s war. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
PRICES ARE SKYROCKETING; FARMERS ARE FIGHTING; LAND IS RAVAGED; FERTILIZER BAN
1. Many Ukrainian farmers have joined the defense effort, and farms in the east of the country are being ravaged by Russian attacks.”
2. “Overall, Ukraine’s spring sowing of barley, maize and other crops will be less than half of the 2021 level, its agriculture ministry reports.”
3. “Even before the war, the fertilizer market was in turmoil because of Covid, high fuel prices (fertiliser production relies heavily on natural gas) and sanctions on Belarus – which, like Russia, is a major exporter of potash, ammonia, urea and other soil nutrients.”
NB: “In March, Russia responded to sanctions by suspending fertilizer exports; while supplies from Ukraine, a major supplier to Europe, have largely stopped.”
WORST IMPACTED WILL BE MIDDLE EASTERN AND AFRICAN NATIONS — especially Egypt
1. “The effects will be felt everywhere, but particularly in some nations in th Middle East and Africa, which are heavily reliant on Russian and Ukrainian wheat.”
2. “Egypt, which gets 80% of its wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia, has had to fix the price of bread and devalue its currency.’
3. “In Tunisia and Lebanon, there are flour shortages. High food prices have caused unrest as far afield as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Peru.”
YEMEN, INDONESIA, CAMEROON, SOMALIA
1. “In conflict-ridden Yemen, 31,000 people already face famine conditions, and that number could increase fivefold this year.”
2. “Indonesia is almost out of its beloved Indomie instant noodles, made with Ukrainian wheat.”
3. “Cameroon’s bakeries are seeing long lines for bread.”
NB “Somalia is facing its worst drought in decades, but can’t turn to Egyptian imports to make up the difference.”
1. “Ukraine and Russia boast some of the most fertile land on Earth. Both are major agricultural producers, particularly of wheat, maize, barley and sunflower oil.”
2. “Together, they grow about 15% of the world’s wheat, but account for about 30% of global wheat exports; Ukraine alone supplies about 50% of the global market for sunflower oil.”
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