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Wheat harvest in Ukraine may fall by 35%, raising fears of global shortages | Ukraine


Wheat production in Ukraine It will probably be at least a third lower than in normal years, according to an analysis of the country’s satellite imagery.

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, but the war is affecting agriculture and food supplies, raising fears of shortages or rising prices around the world.

Last year, Ukraine produced about 33 million tons of wheat, of which it exported about 20 million tons, making it the sixth largest exporter in the world. This year, in such a situation, the country could produce only about 21 million tonnes of wheat, up 23% on average over the previous five years, according to an analysis published Friday by satellite analytics firm Kayrros.

But with war and warfare concentrated in the east, where the main wheat-growing regions are more likely to break out, Kairos believes the wheat harvest is likely to fall by at least 35% from 2021.

Ukraine has already moved to a ban on exports of grain and many other foodstuffs, seeking to preserve its own food supplies. With transportation also difficult, Russia is blocking the country’s Black Sea coast.

World wheat prices in March jumped by 20%., due to the direct impact of the war on wheat production, as well as rising energy and fertilizer prices worldwide. These costs grew even before the Russian invasion, but increased even more as countries cut oil and gas imports from Russia.

While wheat prices have since fallen slightly from record highs, Rabobank analysts predict they could rise again due to the war in Ukraine, where production is projected to drop just over 20% as well as sanctions against Russia hot conditions in other wheat-producing countries including the US and India.

Carlos Mera, an analyst at Rabobank, said prices would remain high as it is unlikely that the world’s leading producers will be able to significantly increase production due to high fertilizer prices and pressure to grow other crops where prices have also risen.

Russia and Ukraine are also major producers of fertilizers, which has further raised prices for input materials for farmers.

He added: “The question is not only how much wheat Ukraine will harvest, but also how much it will have time to export. Usually 90% of grain exports go through ports to the Black Sea, but we won’t see that. [because of Russian military action]». He said exports via trains were also affected by attacks on railway lines.

Rising food prices are now a a serious cause for concern worldwide. Low-income people in developing countries have already faced problems because the pandemic has depleted their resources, while the conflict has led countries like Yemen and Afghanistan to balance on the brink of starvation.

Climate crisis also charge a fee. In recent weeks, a heat wave in South Asia has led to millions of people facing heat stress. The heat is likely to reduce yields and could affect the wheat crop in India.

Last year, the heat in Canada disrupted wheat cultivation and led to higher pasta prices. In Australia, another major wheat producer, there were heavy floods this year.

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In the UK Brexit added about 6% food prices, according to the London School of Economics.

Much of the Ukrainian wheat went to the Middle East, forcing countries to become even more dependent on Russia for grain supplies. For example, Egypt, which will host the next UN climate summit in November, Cop27, depends on Ukraine and Russia for about 80% of its wheat.

Kayrros uses artificial intelligence combined with data from satellites to monitor commodities, biomass and other environmental issues such as methane. Antoine Half, its co-founder, said: “Monitoring geopolitical events almost in real time is crucial to understanding them and mitigating their consequences. The consequences of the terrible war in Ukraine, unfortunately, can be seen from space, and these data illustrate the specter of rising food prices and hunger that the world is facing as a result of this conflict.

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