The global community needs to prepare for wheat prices rising to $700 per ton this year, a nearly 40% jump from the current $430, the Ukrainian minister of agrarian policy and food, Mykola Solsky, said on Wednesday, as cited by TASS.
“Are we ready to pay $500, $600, $700 per ton? The situation is critical for Asian and African countries, which mostly imported grain from Ukraine,” Solsky added.
He also warned that the country’s harvest this year could be much lower than it was in 2021.
“This year we expect a 50% drop from last year’s harvest,” he stated, adding that due to Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, “the next winter sowing campaign is in jeopardy.”
Earlier on Wednesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the global community will not be able to fully solve the food crisis without Ukrainian grain and Russian and Belarusian fertilizers, adding that “Russian products and fertilizers should have full and unlimited access to world markets.” Earlier this month, he warned that a fifth of humanity is at risk of poverty and hunger due to the current situation in the grain market.
Concerns over grain have been growing since February, when Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine. Russian and Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, which are used to ship grain, are being avoided by shippers.
Western sanctions also limit the availability of crops and fertilizers from Russia and Belarus on the global market. With the growth in global grain prices, major suppliers such as Russia, Kazakhstan, and India have temporarily stopped exports to protect their domestic markets.