The U.S. Meat Export Federation says the war in Ukraine has already had an impact on the red meat sector, and that impact will continue for the foreseeable future.
USMEF Vice President of Economic Analysis Erin Borror says Russia, Ukraine and Belarus export red meat, but the impact is somewhat muted at 60,000 tons to China. But where the war will have the greatest impact on the red meat sector, and producers across the globe, is on the feed side. “So, Ukraine is the number three corn exporter, the number two barley exporter and the number one sunflower exporter, and number five on wheat. And Russia has been the largest wheat exporter. And so, there’s obviously growing concern about feed availability, especially in Europe.”
Borror noted their concerns about the Black Sea region will not be disappearing anytime soon.
“Not only are we worried about this crop that should be planted right now, but also the grain in storage that was still to be exported for the rest of this crop year, and those exports are not going out the Ukrainian ports right now. They are working to try to do some grain trade by rail into Europe, but basically, you’re looking at product that’s yet to ship and then real questions about the current crop and whether Ukraine can get it in the ground.”
Borror adds another issue is shipping companies concerned about having ships near or in a war zone, while suggesting the impact of the war could be felt through 2024.