Updated: Apr 26
The war in Ukraine may have devastating and lasting impact on global food supply and distribution. The fallout will be food shortages and food inflation. Knock-on effects will be additional food insecurity and mass migration in many parts of the world.
According to National Geographic, Russia and Ukraine together produce about 12% of the world’s calories!
Sunflower oil exports come from both Ukraine and Russia at 42% and 21% respectively. OurWorldInData.com reports that, combined, the two countries at war export 23% of the world’s wheat, 19% of barley, and 18% of corn.
U.S. farmers are going to continue to feel the inflation as the grain needed to bolster livestock growth dwindles away. These costs will be passed on to the consumer.
In fact, 40% of the World Food Programme wheat, come from Ukraine says David Beasly, their Executive Director.
“The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.”
The WFP mission is here.
Additionally, Russia interprets U.S. financial sanctions against them as an act of war. They have retaliated by stopping multiple exports including oil, grain, and fertilizer. These and other exports are directly or indirectly related to high-demand resources globally such as food and energy.
A fertilizer shortage, led by urea and potash, are estimated to diminish world food supply and cause more food insecurity worldwide.
Even neon, a gas used in the manufacture of chips is in short supply as 50% of the world’s gas comes from Ukraine. These chips are in everything from cars to computers to gaming devices and phones. Well-known corporations such as Intel, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor must have neon or else chips cannot be made.
These consequences will impact American households. Already struggling families are under pressure as U.S. wages aren't keeping up with inflation.