The war in Ukraine is deeply impacting global food markets, disrupting supplies, and bringing prices up, especially, those of cereals and vegetable oil. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for a third of the world's wheat exports and are among the primary suppliers for most of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Concerns have emerged that food inflation could potentially result in the rise of popular protests and mobilizations.
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In Tunisian supermarkets, customers cannot buy more than three kilos of flour. Shelves often remain empty for days. And when the flour comes in, it is gone within minutes. Since the beginning of Ramadan, Tunisians have been waiting in line every morning for bread; with bakeries starting to ration it. Baguettes have become smaller and thinner, and semolina is often used instead of wheat. Bakers say they demand their usual supply of flour but receive less.
War between Russia and Ukraine has put the Egyptian economy under pressure. Last month, the Egyptian government announced it had requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s support to mitigate the shocks the country’s economy has endured since the eruption of the war.
The breakout of the conflict in Ukraine and the following imposition of heavy Western sanctions on Russia are causing sharp price increases in food and energy commodities —of which both Ukraine and Russia represent key exporters — as well as disruptions to global supply chains, impacting the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Lebanon is perpetually at a crossroads, one where local, regional, and international interests seem to play against each other—all the more so today with the war in Ukraine. Now, tiny Lebanon, all too familiar with the ripple effects of global conflicts, has been almost completely cut off from its staple food— wheat — which was almost entirely supplied by Russia and Ukraine before the conflict.
The conflict in Ukraine weighs today on world food security, due to the significant role that Russia and Ukraine play in international agricultural markets. Today, a third of the world's wheat export,
80% of sunflower oil exports, and 19% of corn exports are disrupted by the paralysis of production and transport in the Black Sea basin.
The Russo-Ukrainian war has affected global food trade and Gulf countries have taken note. The Middle East is the largest grain importing region of the world and self-sufficiency is not an option for lack of water, especially in the arid Gulf region, but also in more fertile Northern neighboring countries such as Syria and Turkey. The memories of the global food crisis of 2007-2008 have not been forgotten, when agricultural exporting nations such as Argentina, Russia, and Vietnam declared trade restrictions fearing for their own food security.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region’s most significant issues and trends. Today we turn the spotlight on Yemen, where a nationwide truce serves as the backdrop for the inauguration of a new presidential council tasked with managing the country and leading the peace efforts with the Houthis.
La guerra in Ucraina rafforza la spinta cinese verso la transizione energetica. Interessata anche la Belt and Road Initiative. E qui si punta sul gas di Mosca.
La Russia è un grande produttore di commodities agricole. Ma dalla partita per la ridefinizione delle supply chains globali potrebbe uscire sconfitta.