Commodity prices soared when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 amid fears of grain shortages with two of the world's leading grain exporters engaged in war. Instead, global production of grains and oilseeds has exceeded forecasts based on production before the invasion, said four agricultural economists on Monday.
Ukrainian grain terminals on the Danube River have blossomed in importance during the war with Russia and now account for 65 percent of the nation's grain exports, said three agricultural economists at the farmdoc daily blog.
Growers are expected to sow the largest amount of U.S. land to winter wheat in nine years, encouraged by strong market prices, in part a result of warfare in Ukraine, and forecasts of better growing conditions in the drought-hit central and southern Plains. Winter wheat accounts for roughly seven of every 10 bushels of wheat harvested in the nation.
Russia's months-long drive to shut off Ukraine grain exports has produced both financial and diplomatic gains for President Putin, said a Washington think tank. "Securing ample and low-cost export routes for Ukrainian grain and increasing investments to rebuild Ukraine's agricultural sector are crucial to to defusing what has become one of Russia's most potent weapons in its war with Ukraine," said the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Ukraine is losing its place as one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat and corn because of warfare, and its role could shrink further with the closure of Black Sea shipping lanes this week, said analysts at the IFPRI think tank. Russia, which has attacked Ukrainian grain ports for three days in a row, declared on Thursday that ship travel was unsafe in parts of the Black Sea.
The United States will work with allies to find new ways to get Ukrainian grain onto the world market following Russia's decision to effectively blockade its ports again, said an administration spokesman on Monday. Nonetheless, exports from Ukraine, a leading supplier of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, are sure to decline with the demise of the year-old Black Sea grain agreement, he said.
After steep increases due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the global hunger total of as many as 783 million people is relatively stable and the goal of ending hunger by the end of the decade will be increasingly difficult to reach, said the annual United Nations report on world hunger.
Pressed by the United States to act, agriculture ministers from most of the world's leading economies condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said in a statement that Moscow should allow Ukrainian grain to flow through the Black Sea unimpeded. Agriculture undersecretary Xochitl Torres Small said on Tuesday the expression of world support for Ukraine was a U.S. priority at the meeting of G20 agriculture ministers in India over the weekend.