Ukraine war puts European food security at risk

How has the Russian invasion of Ukraine affected world food security?

What is the reason for the unprecedented rise in vegetable oil prices after the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

What warnings have experts given about the world food security situation after the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

How much of the world’s grain is produced by Russia and Ukraine?

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that world food prices & Food Security hit a “record high” in March due to the war in Ukraine and the shock to grain and vegetable oil markets.

Ukraine is one of the largest producers of cereals in the world

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain producers, and regulators have previously warned of the consequences of this war. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced that food prices peaked in March. The organization blamed the unprecedented rise in prices on the Ukraine war, which shocked the vegetable oils and edible seeds market. The FAO released a report in February stating that the price of a basket of basic foodstuffs had risen by 12.6%, the highest level since the 1990s. One month after the report, the index rose 17.1 percent from February to March.

The unprecedented increase in the price of vegetable oils

Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil, has pushed the crop by 23.2 percent. Other vegetable oils, including rapeseed, soybean and palm, have risen. For two months now, wars and tensions between Russia and Ukraine have severely affected world markets. In addition to the oil, energy, gold, and currency markets, the agricultural and food markets worldwide have been shaken and severely affected.

Reasons for rising food prices

One of the main reasons for this is that Russia and Ukraine are the two largest suppliers of agricultural products and livestock inputs in the world, with Russia accounting for 29% of world wheat exports, 80% of sunflower oil exports, and They account for 19% of world corn exports. Ukraine, meanwhile, is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of wheat, accounting for about 8% of the global supply. Ukraine has black soil known as Chernozems and is a world leader in the production of sunflower oil, and is one of the top 10 exporters of corn, canola and barley.

Experts worry about the world food security situation

However, in the current situation, with far fewer Ukrainian and Russian grains and fertilizers entering world markets, experts are worried that we will see a darker period in terms of food security around the world. At present, Ukrainian farmers cannot provide adequate fertilizer to their winter wheat fields and have good corn or sunflower harvest in early April. Experts warn that many Ukrainians go hungry if Ukrainian farmers fail to grow or harvest properly. Still, hundreds of millions worldwide will go hungry, and perhaps the most significant food crisis since World War II begins.

Stop grain exports with the start of the Russia-Ukraine war

Ukraine and Russia produce about 30 percent of world wheat and 12 percent of its calories. Rising food prices and shortages could create a wave of instability without these two countries. The war between the two countries has stopped grain exports from both countries. Since the two countries (along with Belarus, a sanctioned ally of Russia) supply large amounts of world fertilizer, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could take this year and, in the future, all its farmers. It has affected two countries. Russia’s military invasion of its neighbouring territory has endangered the lives of millions of Ukrainians and threatened the food security of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Ukrainian farmers have left their lands or joined the battlefields with Russia, or are thinking of saving their lives and the lives of their families. Ports have been closed, and exports of grain and even fodder to animals have virtually stopped. Russia and Ukraine supply about a third of the world’s wheat and barley.

Possibility of EU sanctions on Russian grain

Meanwhile, there are fears that the EU could include Russian cereals and millet in the sanctions list. The decision has not yet been made, and its impact on global markets has been revealed. Grain prices have risen more than 55 percent since the week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, raising concerns about the future. The continuation of the war situation and the disruption of the grain export process from Ukraine will cause trouble for the countries dependent on Ukrainian agriculture. “If the war is a protracted one, countries that rely on affordable wheat exports from Ukraine could face shortages starting in July,” said Arnaud Petit, International Grains Council director.

Russia threatens world food security

French Agriculture Minister Julien Dinormandy said there is a risk of a “food crisis on a global scale” due to the consequences of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Julien Dinormandy stressed that the Mediterranean countries are heavily dependent on wheat imported from Russia and Ukraine. On the other hand, France is less dependent on imported wheat than other Mediterranean countries. However, the crisis caused by the current war and the resulting instability will undoubtedly affect the rise in prices, mainly feed and fodder. An issue that will inevitably show itself in the prices of meat and dairy products will naturally lead to higher costs in other areas.

Many countries depend on Russian wheat.

Some countries, such as Qatar, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan and Rwanda, import up to 80 per cent of their wheat needs from Russia. Turkey also supplies about 70 percent of its wheat needs from Russia. Lebanon, meanwhile, buys 90 percent of its wheat needs from Ukraine. Several other African countries are also significant buyers of Ukrainian cereals.

The war in Ukraine has raised alarming levels of food shortages and a new crisis in the world, less than two months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Oil and gas prices are rising at an all-time low. In European markets, the price of a megawatt-hour of gas has reached a record high of over 300 euros. Germany is heavily dependent on Russian gas as the EU’s top economy. Although this rate is lower in the case of France, the Russian gas cut will still have significant and immediate consequences.

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