Food Prices Could Get More Expensive As Ukraine Bans Export of Food Staples

by Chris Haney

On Wednesday, Ukraine announced it is banning the export of several food items to other countries in response to the ongoing Russian invasion. The ban, which includes items like wheat and oats, will have a severe impact on global food prices as they will likely become even more expensive in the near future. The export ban will decrease global food supplies as prices have already reached their highest levels since 2011.

What You Need To Know

  • Ukraine is banning various food exports as the country is still under siege by Russia.
  • The ban is part of an effort to keep Ukrainian citizens fed during the war.
  • The export ban includes wheat, grains, sugar, cattle and more.
  • Ukraine’s minister of agrarian and food policy Roman Leshchenko said the ban is in place to prevent a “humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.”

Food Export Ban Part Of An Effort to Keep Ukrainians Fed

The Russia-Ukraine conflict may only be taking place in Eastern Europe, but its implications are far-reaching. In recent weeks, everyone across the globe has felt the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including here at home in the U.S. Our economy, stock market, grocery and gas prices, and much more have already shifted significantly since Vladimir Putin’s regime attacked Ukraine.

While costs at the grocery store had already began to spike, food prices could get even more expensive after Ukraine’s latest decision. The besieged country is now cutting off many of its food exports in order to keep the items on-hand during the war.

Ukraine’s minister of agrarian and food policy Roman Leshchenko shared a statement on the food ban on the government’s website. Russian forces are slowly moving across Ukraine, which has cut off normal supply chains in certain areas of the country. He said the move to ban food exports is part of an effort to keep Ukrainians fed during the crisis.

Leshchenko stated that the export ban is in place to prevent a “humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.” It will also help stabilize their domestic market and “meet needs of the population in critical food products,” the statement reads.

Food Prices Getting More Expensive Across the Globe

Ukraine is frequently referred to as the “breadbasket of the world.” The country is one of the main suppliers across the globe of wheat and grain, which they’ve placed a temporary ban on of all exports. Further food bans include the export of buckwheat, millet, sugar, cattle and other meats.

Therefore it’s no surprise that experts worry about the impact the ban will have on food supplies across Europe and other regions. Ukraine’s decision will impact Europe, Africa, and Asia the most. Yet America is not immune to the situation. We may feel a similar impact here in America as food prices are likely going to get more expensive.

Ukraine produces around a quarter of the world’s wheat trade. In addition, the country also produces a fifth of the world’s corn. However, since the Russia-Ukraine conflict began, the country has had to close ports used for exporting the goods.

Last week, World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala touched on the war and it’s implications on Ukraine’s exports. She admitted that the situation will have a strong impact on food prices as bread and other wheat products become more expensive for people in many countries.

Export Ban Impacting Smaller Beer Companies

According to a report from FOX 8, the beer industry has already been impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Now that there is an export ban, many breweries will see further price hikes because of certain wheat and grains that are used in their beers.

Ukraine is one of the top five producers in the world of barley – a key ingredient used to make beer. The recent ban includes barley and other grains. So breweries could lose a significant portion of their grain supplies due to the invasion of Ukraine. As always, the demand for beer remains high. But with a supply decrease, that will push prices even higher for some alcoholic beverages.

As brewers gauge the potential impact on their products and their prices, most larger breweries don’t expect a huge increase. It’s unlikely that larger breweries will face any setbacks, but smaller breweries don’t have the same luxury. The same outlet reported that many smaller breweries could see a 50 cent to one dollar increase per beer. That’s a significant markup for less established brands as they navigate these uncertain times as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.