Global wheat shipments withstood the shock of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Published Feb 26, 2024

Tridge summary

Despite initial concerns of a global food crisis following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the global wheat market demonstrated resilience with prices returning to pre-war levels by the end of 2022 and no major disruptions to seaborne shipments. Countries managed potential disruptions by sourcing wheat from other suppliers, substituting other grains, and using pre-war wheat supplies. The impact varied by region, with Asia experiencing a sharp decline in wheat imports that later rebounded. The article also notes a shift in sourcing from countries like Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Romania, and advises countries heavily reliant on food imports to diversify their supply sources and strategies to buffer against volatile commodity prices.
Disclaimer: The above summary was generated by a state-of-the-art LLM model and is intended for informational purposes only. It is recommended that readers refer to the original article for more context.

Original content

When the flow of Ukrainian grain was cut off by Russia’s invasion, there were widespread fears that a global food crisis would ensue. Ukraine was a major supplier of wheat to the world, accounting for some 6 percent of exports by volume. When grains such as corn and sunflower seeds are included, Ukraine’s share in world exports rose to 10 percent. Meanwhile, roughly 35 percent of the world’s population relied on wheat as the primary staple in their diet. Many food-insecure countries were especially vulnerable to disruptions of wheat trade: Ukraine accounted for roughly 67 percent of Lebanon’s wheat imports and 84 percent of Gambia’s. Wheat prices, already on the rise before the conflict began on Feb. 24, 2022, soared in anticipation of Russia’s occupation or blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports (the yellow line in Figure 1.) But the direst predictions of global shortages of wheat and other foods didn’t materialize following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. By the end of 2022, wheat ...
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