(PresidentialWire.com)- There are many worldwide issues that are happening because of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
One that was just reported this week is that there’s a huge backlog of grain that has been unable to leave Ukraine due to blockades set up along ports in the Black Sea by Russia, and other challenges to infrastructure in the country.
Reuters reported recently that an official with a United Nations food agency said there are almost 25 million tons of grain that haven’t been able to be exported out of Ukraine due to the war. One of the main ports that was used to export the grain was Mariupol, and that city has been under serious siege from Russia almost since the beginning of their invasion back in February.
The FOA — or the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations — said that the blockages of grain exports are one of the main reasons why food prices have been so high recently, hitting a record high just two months ago. Prices eased a bit in April, but they are still significantly higher than normal.
Data from the International Grains Council shows that Ukraine was the fourth-largest maize (corn) exporter in the world during the 2020-2021 growing season. With all that grain being unable to be exported, there’s a major shortage being felt across the world.
As the deputy direct of the FAO’s Markets and Trade Division, Josef Schmidhuber, recently said during a press briefing:
“It’s an almost grotesque situation we see at the moment in Ukraine with nearly 25 million tons of grain that could be exported but that cannot leave the country simply because of lack of infrastructure, the blockade of the ports.”
While prices have risen to all-time highs in recent months, Schmidhuber warned that the fact that the silos in Ukraine are currently full — since they need to store the grain that can’t be exported — could eventually lead to shortages in available storage containers for the next harvest season, which happens in July and August every year.
As he explained:
“Despite the war, the harvest conditions don’t look that dire. That could really mean there’s not enough storage capacity in Ukraine, particularly if there’s no wheat corridor opening up for export from Ukraine.”
Since Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine began at the end of February, Ukraine has had to export their grain via train through the western border or through small ports on the Danube River instead of as it usually does — by sea.
One of the other concerns that major international organizations have is that there have been reports that many of the grain storage units and product were destroyed during the war in the country.
The head of the World Trade Organiation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said recently that she was “seriously worried” over food prices getting even more out of control, and they were working with partners to try to find a solution. As she explained:
“It would really help the world if we could evacuate this grain. There’s a serious risk of food prices going up and spiraling out of affordability that could lead to more hunger.”