Istanbul, 1 March 2022 (TDI): The world’s two largest wheat producers are locked in a full-fledged war, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nations that rely on wheat from Ukraine and Russia face a bleak future.
Russia is the world’s number one wheat exporter and the biggest producer after China and India Ukraine is amongst the top five wheat exporters international.
In addition, the deliberate exclusion of some Russian banks from the international SWIFT banking system in revenge for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine is anticipated to hit the country’s exports.
Insufficient supply and Rising prices
Wheat’s prices are up 5 percent, up to a 14-year high of $974. Turkey locally produces about half of the wheat it consumes, it has become gradually needful on imports, 85 % of which come from Russia and Ukraine.
Ankara’s wheat imports from Ukraine touched record levels in 2021, according to official figures from the Turkish Statistics Institute. Increasing prices and insufficient supply have already affected financially miserable nations in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Ukraine supplies a huge amount of the grain to most of these countries and a lot of these places are already on a knife’s edge. The least little thing that disturbs bread prices, even more, could really kick off a lot of turmoil,” Monica Marks, a professor of Middle East politics at New York University Abu Dhabi.
Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon, as well as Yemen and Sudan, are at high risk from rising prices and an increase in demand. While the war between Russia and Ukraine increases, a possible decrease in wheat exports is expected.
Although Morocco is not as dependent as some of its neighbors on wheat imports are, it is currently experiencing its worst drought in 30 years. Resultantly, an increase in food prices will eventually force the régime to increase grain imports and subsidies.
Certain bread’s part as a politically-charged product in this part of the globe, further affecting the wheat supply. What’s more, rising prices could even spark revolt.