Monday, 13 May, 2024

Wheat prices in Africa soar 60% due to Ukraine conflict



Global prices of sunflower oil and crude oil have also been rising in the wake of Russia-Ukraine conflict that erupted on February 24.

Economists say the Ukrainian conflict offers lessons for countries to avoid heavy reliance on wheat imports.
Economists say the Ukrainian conflict offers lessons for countries to avoid heavy reliance on wheat imports. (Reuters)

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has disrupted wheat exports, driving wheat prices up by 60 percent in Africa, and the continent will lose up to $11 billion worth of food due to the conflict.

The conflict has created global problems but particularly for Africa, which imports a huge percentage of its food from Russia and Ukraine, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Tuesday.

“Already, the price of wheat has gone up about 60%. Maize and other grains will also be affected. There may be a fertiliser crisis, as there would be about a 2 million metric ton deficit," said Akinwumi Adesina.

"And that will affect food production by about 20%,” Adesina added, speaking in the Nigerian capital Abuja while meeting the county's President Muhammadu Buhari.

Economists say that while the conflict in Ukraine was a big shock to the international market, it offers lessons for countries to avoid heavy reliance on wheat imports.

READ MORE:Russia-Ukraine war in 'breadbasket' region threatens global wheat supply

Russian and Ukrainian wheat

Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of wheat in Africa. But since the conflict erupted on February 24, supply chains have been interrupted, triggering unprecedented price hikes.

Besides wheat, global prices of sunflower oil and crude oil have been soaring.

The Maghreb countries alone rely on Russian and Ukrainian wheat, with imports accounting for more than 50 percent of their needs, according to official data.

The AfDB plans to help farmers in Africa cultivate wheat, maize, rice sorghum and soybeans to avert a food crisis on the African continent while mitigating the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Adesina said, according to a statement.

Warning that Africa will lose up to $11 billion worth of food due to the conflict, he said the AfDB has developed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan, which is pending approval by the bank’s top management.

READ MORE:Will the world face famine because of the Ukraine conflict?

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