by Susan Duclos, All News Pipeline:
It is not often we can get ahead of a problem because generally once it hits it is too late to do anything about it. The problem that we’ll be discussing here is one of those rare opportunities because we have already been here, so we know exactly what needs to be done.
Russia has pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal, which allowed safe export of grain from Ukraine. Russia’s pullout comes after Ukraine blew up a bridge that led from Crimea to Russia, but the reasoning behind the move doesn’t change the affect this will have on the global food supply chain.
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While percentages vary depending on who is reporting, up to 10% of the world’s wheat comes from Ukraine, meaning that unless Turkey can once again convince Russia to rejoin the initiative, the shortages and spiking prices for all wheat-related products that we saw before the deal, will be coming back like a bad case of Déjà vu.
A note for those new to ANP: Before the grain deal was signed to allow grain to be safely exported from Ukraine, ANP readers from across the country were sending pictures they took at their local grocery stores, and the global wheat shortage resulted in near-bare pasta shelves, with prices for wheat products, including breads, muffins, biscuits, cakes, noodles, and cereals, just to name a few items, all spiked.
The images below came to ANP from readers from January-August 2022:
Those are just two of dozens we received, not only of pasta shelves, but bread prices, and other shortages that resulted from the state lockdowns and school closures, as states severely overreacted to the Covid-19 virus.
FOOD INFLATION TO SPIKE AGAIN
While things became bad back then, this time around, it will be worse, since bakery products, breads, and cereals are already seeing the highest continued inflation year over year.
The graph below would have been shown in our monthly piece covering food inflation, but given the current news, it seem prudent to show right now.
So, cereals and bakery products are still seeing 8.8% inflation year over year from June 2022 to June 2022 to June 2023, and now unless Russia rejoins the Black Sea grain deal, we can expect a hike in those prices yet again.
Food prices are expected to spike following Russia’s decision, and it may imperil countries facing famines and food insecurity. The United Nations World Food Programme bought 80% of its grain from Ukraine in the first half of this year, and has been using it for donations to Afghanistan, Yemen, and East Africa. High food prices are driving “worrying” levels of hunger around the world, the U.N. has said.
Worse yet, even if Russia rejoined the deal, a retaliatory strike on Ukraine’s port of Odesa, has guaranteed less grain and other products reach the global community, again guaranteeing price hikes.
KYIV (Reuters) – Russia struck Ukraine’s port of Odesa with missiles and drones on Tuesday, a day after pulling out of a U.N.-backed deal to let Kyiv export grain, and Ukrainian officials said Moscow was attempting to go back on the offensive in the east.
Russian attacks on Ukraine’s ports followed a pledge by Moscow to retaliate for blasts on Russia’s road bridge to the occupied Crimean Peninsula, knocked out on Monday by what Moscow said were strikes by Ukrainian seaborne drones.
Shortly after the bridge was hit on Monday, Moscow pulled out of the year-old U.N.-brokered grain export deal, a move the United Nations said risked creating hunger around the world.
While this pullout of the Black Sea grain deal will cause far more pain to other parts of the world that depend on wheat to keep from starving, Americans, already suffering from inflation that is lowering year after year, but prices have not gone back down to what they were pre-Covid, will once again have to adjust to massive food inflation on top of the previous inflation numbers.