Food crisis fears are intensifying as the war in Ukraine continues to wreak destruction on ports, rail transportation, and farms. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt points to Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports where an estimated 4.5 million tons of grain can’t be loaded.
“Nothing’s coming out of the port at Odesa, nothing’s coming out of the port at Mariupol and hasn’t since the Russian invasion began. This has a huge impact on the whole world, but particularly on Africa. What’s in the silos in Ukraine right now’s not getting out, and Ukrainian farmers are not getting crops planted for this year. What we’re really seeing happen, though, on the world stage right now is a true food disaster in the making.”
25 percent of world wheat, 20 percent of world corn, and 90 percent of sunflower oil come out of Ukraine and Russia. American Farm Bureau senior director of congressional relations Dave Salmonsen; “There are mines, there are internal disruptions in Ukraine to their internal transportation network, of course. Their trains are trying to move some product, but they’re also full of moving other goods and people.”
And Blunt says it’s not just about inflation; “But the real issue here, at this moment, may not be nearly as much price as is real hunger; some occurring today, a lot more could occur just a few months from today.”
And while increased commodity prices are helping U.S. growers, Salmonsen argues soaring fuel and fertilizer costs made worse by the war are eating into those price gains.