Sunset over a wheat field

“It's not a question of the world running out of grain, it's a question of how high the price will be that people have to pay for it.”

Senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Joseph Glauber, on the rising prices of wheat — one impact of Russia's war against Ukraine.

Published on

may 3, 2022

  • As Russia's war in Ukraine enters its third month, the entire world continues to feel its impact on many facets of life — including global food supply.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports: "Wheat is a staple food for over 35 percent of the world's population ..." At the same time, Ukraine and Russia together typically comprise over 25% of the global wheat supply. Furthermore, 26 countries specifically depend upon Ukraine and Russia for over half of their own wheat imports.
  • As Ukraine is largely unable to export its wheat due to the war, other countries are working to make up for the supply gap and attempting to increase their own grain production in order to decrease their dependence on imported wheat.

Why It Matters: All of these factors and more, including growing conditions and extreme weather, lead to higher prices of wheat. FAO Chief Economist Máximo Torero explains the impact further: "The crises represents a challenge on food security for many countries, especially for low-income, food import-dependent countries and vulnerable populations."

Facing a Wheat Crisis, Countries Race to Remake an Entire Market on the Fly (The Wall Street Journal)

Conflict in Ukraine: Likely to impact global agricultural markets and food security (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

Wheat rises 43% in three months amid global supply crunch

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