“Unprecedented food crisis to come, risk of famine”

After the expensive bills it was the turn of the fuel and now it could be the turn of the foodstuffs. The concern of European and Western leaders is shifting towards the risk of lack of food or on the possible price increase of certain products due to the war in Ukraine.

The fears are linked both to the lack of productions and exports from kyiv and the lack of purchases from Moscow. For this the attention of the American President, Joe Bidennow turns to the food issue: “The food emergency will be realhe says, ringing the alarm bell.

Even more drastic are the words of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, among the most active when it comes to raising the issue. Macron speaks without half measures of a “ food crisis Unprecedented“.

Not only that, because in his opinion, the worst is yet to come and we will only see it in the meantime. 12-18 months because now it is impossible to sow in Ukraine because of the conflict. Macron goes even further, even speaking of the risk of a famine, at least for African countries. And while waiting the EU try to take cover with a plan against food shortages. Let’s see what it is all about and what could happen in the coming months.

Ukraine, the EU plan against food shortages

The European Council gave the green light to the plan to combat the food shortage resulting from the crisis in Ukraine, a country among the main exporters of wheat, oils and cereals. As indicated in the conclusion of the summit of European leaders, the idea is to set up a program similar to that on the distribution of anti-Covid vaccines, Covax.

The European program will be called Cultivate and among the first objectives is that of increasing transparency on world stocks, as well as guaranteeing supplies to countries at risk. It also tries to encourage production in the most fragile and at-risk regions.

What products might be missing

Go on cereals forsunflower oilpassing by me animal feed, the concern is that these products could run out in the coming months as they are mostly imported from Ukraine and Russia. In particular the Ukrainian wheat it represents 10% of the world market, plus 24% of Russia.

For barley the percentage is 13% for Ukraine and 14% for Russia. The situation is even more complicated sunflower oil: in fact, more than half of the total sold in the world is exported from kyiv.

Rising food prices

Rising energy costs and animal feed affected the entire food sector even before the war in Ukraine. The conflict that began with the Russian invasion then aggravated the situation, particularly for certain products.

Currently, in the EU, the main fear is not so much the lack of food as rising prices, which could also be very high for some commodities. First of all, it must be considered that at the moment supplies are not coming from Ukraine, not even from territories that are not directly affected by the war.

The EU could therefore increase imports from India and the United States. In addition, the Commission is considering other strategies to contain the rise in prices, such as the hypothesis of a fall – by country – VAT on certain consumer products.

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