Russia and Ukraine are also big exporters of maize (corn), barley, and other grains that much of the world relies on to make food.
Indonesia, Turkey and the Philippines are also big importers.
Supplies from Russia might come through – and Russia is in desperate need of foreign exchange. But Ukraine’s ports are closed, transport infrastructure is disrupted and might not be working when harvest season begins in July, and barley planting would normally begin about now.
Sudden shortages and price hikes will hit poor countries and their poorest citizens hard. Low income households spend far more of their income on staples such as bread than high income households.
The effects will flow through to meat and egg prices, as cereal grains are used as feed of livestock and poultry production.
Throughout history, violence and unrest have flowed from hikes in commodity prices. Egypt was racked with bread riots and rationing in 2017. Kazakhstan suffered massive protests in January after a spike in liquefied gas prices.
Humanitarian organisations are set to face greater calls for food aid, which will be more expensive to provide.
But food supply chains and global stability are certain to be tested.
It will take a village to stop this war and mitigate its repercussions. The rich and powerful of the village should do all they can to hold it together.
- ^ a quarter (oec.world)
- ^ 20% (www.researchgate.net)
- ^ price index (www.igc.int)
- ^ wheat (oec.world)
- ^ maize (oec.world)
- ^ barley (oec.world)
- ^ one fifth (oec.world)
- ^ 70% (oec.world)
- ^ Egypt (oec.world)
- ^ poorest (theconversation.com)
- ^ desperate need (theconversation.com)
- ^ staples (nutritionj.biomedcentral.com)
- ^ How Russia-Ukraine conflict could influence Africa's food supplies (theconversation.com)
- ^ Egypt (www.middleeasteye.net)
- ^ Kazakhstan (www.detailedpedia.com)
- ^ bumper crops (daff.ent.sirsidynix.net.au)
- ^ How the war in Ukraine will affect food prices (theconversation.com)
- ^ all-time high (daff.ent.sirsidynix.net.au)
Authors: David Ubilava, Senior Lecturer of Economics, University of Sydney