More countries are implementing food export controls
New York, May 22 (IANS) Bread is one of the most crucial ingredients for maintaining global stability – and it’s getting dangerously expensive, Axios reported.
As food prices rise around the world due to war, extreme weather and inflation, more and more countries are implementing this type of export control, but it is only exacerbating the problem.
At least 43 such protectionist measures have been implemented since the Russian invasion, according to data cited by The New York Times earlier this month.
These include restrictions put in place by Russia and its ally Belarus, as well as Indonesia’s ban on palm oil exports and China’s ban on fertilizer exports.
Wheat prices hit near-record highs on Monday after India said it would ban exports as it faced a prolonged heat wave due to climate change.
“These measures threaten to further tighten global supplies and will put pressure on food prices as we move into 2022,” Kelly Goughary, senior research analyst at Gro Intelligence, told Axios.
Goughary has not seen this level of export controls in his 15 years in the industry.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has cut off exports from this region – responsible for more than a quarter of the world’s supply – and has buyers scrambling to find other source countries, such as India.
India is the world’s ninth-largest exporter, according to USDA statistics, Axios reported.
Initially, Indian officials said the country would increase wheat production, before backtracking on Saturday.
There are few commodities more important than wheat, Axios reported. Rising bread prices have led to social unrest throughout history, from the French and Russian revolutions to the Arab Spring.
More wheat market headwinds are coming, Goughary said. There are drought issues in France which could push prices up, while production in the United States is down.
The United States is not a big exporter of wheat because it’s too expensive to ship overseas, but it is a supplier of “last resort,” she added.