Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports is a “Declaration of War"; how it is affecting food shortages and jumpy markets

A Declaration of War is what a UN official is calling Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports.

This morning, the UK is in talks with Ukraine about how to get grain out. Right now, 27 million tons of much-needed grain planned for export are trapped. The Transport Minister says they do have other options besides the ports to get goods out of the country.

The blockade is further fueling concerns of food shortages and increased hunger around the globe, and as long as exports remain out of reach in Ukraine, food prices will continue to surge.

A lack of wheat supply continues to raise concerns in the commodity markets. Joe Glauber with the International Food Policy Research Institute says the markets will work through high prices, but some countries that need to import food may not be able to keep up.

“I do think that the markets will take care of this. The big problem is the uncertainty in Ukraine, itself. I don’t think there’s any early resolution to that right now, that from my perspective, so I think this uncertainty is going to remain with us. It doesn’t help that we have a wheat crop that’s not in great shape right now. It doesn’t help the plantings are behind. The markets are going to work through this. Ultimately, my concern from the standpoint of humanitarian aspects is that prices are just really high, and for poor countries and others who are facing these larger import bills, they need assistance.”

He adds he does not think giving farmers extra incentives to plant more is the right move. He emphasizes it will work out over time.


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