Two weeks after the Russia-Ukraine crisis began, the world is quickly moving toward a food crisis that could affect millions of people. A spillover of the crisis could soon spark agricultural mayhem in the US.
The curtailment of agricultural exports from Russia and Ukraine will have dramatic knock-on effects on global food supplies. Both countries are known as the ‘breadbasket of the world’ and are responsible for a quarter of the international wheat trade, about a fifth of corn, and 12% of all calories traded globally. Another major problem is access to fertilizers, as Russia has banned exports of the nutrients.
It’s not whether or not there will be a food crisis. It’s how big that crisis will be.
We’ve already noted a handful of emerging market countries to monitor as the Russian invasion is choking off grain exports to them and causing prices to rise, which may result in social unrest. Even in the Western world, agricultural markets have not been immune, and higher prices have stung consumers.