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Ukraine Says May Grain Exports Down More Than 60% Compared To 2021 In Latest Alarming Sign Of International Food Crisis


Breaking Business Ukraine Says May Grain Exports Down More Than 60% Compared To 2021 In Latest Alarming Sign Of International Food Crisis Derek Saul Forbes Staff May 19, 2022, 10:56am EDT | Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Topline Ukraine reported an alarming decrease in grain exports Thursday and wheat prices reached record highs this week, the latest indicators of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatening food security for millions worldwide. Pictured is a wheat field in western Ukraine in 2013. AFP via Getty Images Key Facts Grain exports from Ukraine are down 64% so far in May compared to the same timeframe last year, the country’s agriculture ministry said Thursday according to Interfax Ukraine. Known as one of the world’s breadbaskets for its agricultural production, Ukraine accounted for 10% of global wheat exports in 2021, according to the United Nations, while Russia produced about 17% of all wheat globally. Ukraine’s ports have suspended activities since the war launched due to Russian blockades, and the U.N. estimates about 20 million tons of harvested grain are stuck in the country. The port blockades will cause millions to die if they continue, David Beasley, head of the United Nations World Food Programme, told CNN last week, as countries globally rely on Ukraine, also one of the leading exporters of corn and sunflower oil and meal, for basic nutrition needs. Wheat futures rose to all-time highs this week after India restricted exports on the commodity amid a heatwave, and wheat prices have jumped more than 60% this year, contributing to what the UN estimates is a one-third jump in food prices globally in the last year. Global hunger is at a “new high,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Thursday, estimating “tens of millions” of people worldwide will “edge into food insecurity, followed by malnutrition, mass hunger and famine, in a crisis that could last for years.” Crucial Quote Beasley said Wednesday in a statement on Twitter: “Failure to open the ports in Ukraine will be a declaration of war on global food security…. It is absolutely essential that we allow these ports to open because this is not just about Ukraine; this is about the poorest of the poor around the world who are on the brink of starvation.” Big Number About 13.6 million. That’s how many children worldwide are suffering from severe wasting, a form of malnutrition that significantly weakens immune systems, the UN children’s humanitarian agency said Tuesday, linking the “catastrophic” rise in malnutrition to the war in Ukraine. Key Background Ukraine is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of wheat, fourth-largest exporter of corn and top exporter of sunflower oil and meal, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Countries worldwide rely on Ukraine for grain used for bread, pasta and packaged goods: Egypt is the top importer of Ukrainian wheat, and countries such as Lebanon and Pakistan get a majority of their wheat from Ukraine. Ukrainian wheat serves a critical role in humanitarian efforts, as about half of the World Food Programme’s wheat comes from the country. Further Reading The coming food catastrophe ( The Economist ) The Ukraine Food Price Crisis is Just a Preview of What Could Happen as Climate Change Worsens ( Time ) Wheat prices hit record high as India’s heat wave-driven export ban compounds Ukraine war supply woes (CBS News) Follow me on Twitter . Send me a secure tip . Derek Saul Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions

From: forbes

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