Photo: T. Narayan | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has pushed many countries to ban the exportation of their products. India is the latest country to impose a ban after the Indian government’s announcement to ban their wheat export last weekend.
Wheat prices spiked 6% on Monday following India’s announcement. India is considered the second-largest wheat exporter in the world, only second to the combined exporting capacity of Ukraine and Russia on wheat.
According to the World Bank, Russia and Ukraine’s wheat exports account for a total of 29% of wheat exports in the global market. The conflict between the two countries has adversely affected the supply chain. Supply is expected not to meet increasing demands and prices are bound to get higher.
Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) noted that Russia’s invasion “came at a bad time for global food markets,” considering that food prices have already gone up because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Apart from wheat, Russia and Ukraine are also among the top exporters of other products like sunflower, sunflower oil, barley, and maize. Other countries have also joined India in banning wheat exports – Egypt, Kosovo, Serbia, and Kazakhstan.
Rising inflation causes food security fears
Inflation has occurred in many countries following the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine conflict. As rage goes on, domestic and global markets have upped prices. Some products include palm oil, sunflower oil, grains, and fertilizers. There is also a looming concern of other products following suit.
The intense heat has also become a significant player in global inflation. For example, India’s ban on wheat exports was due to low production caused by a heatwave. Similarly, increased average temperatures cause US gas prices to go higher.
Analysts from PIIE said that as the war continues in Russia, it will be likely that food shortages will happen. When this happens, said the analysts, more countries will “turn to restrictions on trade.”
The Financial Times reported unless Russia lifts the blockade they imposed on Ukraine’s ports where grain is stuck, the risk of a world hunger crisis is imminent.
Which countries ban what product
PIIE tracks countries that banned products on their end. Among the countries that banned their products include:
- Argentina (Soybean oil, soybean meal)
- Algeria (Paste, wheat derivatives, vegetable oil, sugar)
- Egypt (Vegetable oil, maize)
- India (Wheat)
- Indonesia (Palm oil, palm kernel oil)
- Iran (Potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, onion)
- Kazakhstan (Wheat, wheat flour)
- Kosovo (Wheat, corn, flour, vegetable oil, salt, sugar)
- Turkey (Beef, mutton, goat meat, butter, cooking oils)
- Ukraine (Wheat, oats, millet, sugar)
- Russia (Sugar, sunflower seeds)
- Serbia (Wheat, corn, flour, oil)
- Tunisia (Fruits, vegetables)
- Kuwait (Chicken meat products, grains, vegetable oils)
Most of these countries have banned product exports until the second to the fourth quarter of 2022. Like India, other countries implemented the export bans so they could calm the increase in domestic prices.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.