Container ship, San Francisco Bay. Photo: NOAA
Bloomberg writer Volodymyr Verbyany reported yesterday that “the highest Ukrainian diplomat cast doubt short term breakthrough in talks with unlock crop exports Black Sea ports in the war-ravaged country as fears of a global hunger crisis mount.
“Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said a number of logistical details should be developed in talks brokered by Turkey and the United Nations between Ukraine and Russia, although breaking the deadlock will be difficult. Comments contrast with those of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğanwho echoed media reports on Tuesday that a deal could be reached within a week to 10 days.
The Bloomberg article noted that “Kuleba expressed skepticism about Moscow’s willingness to reach an agreement, since its blockade provides leverage over Ukraine. The government of Kyiv accused the Russian troops of looting metal and grain shipments to hit the economy as well as global food security.
Meanwhile, Reuters writer Pavel Polityuk reported yesterday that “Ukraine expects a grain harvest of at least 50 million tonnes this yearwhich is “not bad considering all the difficulties,” the country’s first deputy agriculture minister said on Wednesday.
“Ukraine, a major global grain producer and exporter, harvested a record 86 million tonnes of cereals in 2021.”
And a separate Reuters story yesterday by Pavel Polityuk reported that, “Ukrainian Grain Traders Union UGA on Wednesday revised upwards its forecast for the country grain and oilseed harvest at 69.4 million tons compared to the previous 66.5 million, but still well below the 2021 level of 106 million tons. »
Somewhere else, Chao Deng and Tom Fairless reported in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that “governments around the world are racing to cushion the blow of food and energy inflationlaunching new grants and strengthening social spending programs to ward off trouble and hunger in the middle of the rising cost everyday. »
“These measures come as oil prices have more than doubled over the past two years, driving up costs along the supply chain, including for basic food items such as bread“, says the Journal article.
With regard to domestic food prices, Nathan Solis reported on the front page of Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times that “Rising food and fuel prices forced some street vendors to ration their supplies or raise their prices on what some take for granted as convenient and affordable food. But for many entrepreneurs, their livelihoods are at stake in a context of runaway inflation.
“From April 2021 to April 2022, prices jumped 14% for meat, poultry, fish and eggs in the United States, one of the largest increases since 1979, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
However, Bloomberg writers Sing Yee Ong and James Poole reported this week that “Worries over soaring global food prices ease that the prices of everything from cooking oils to wheat and corn fall to the lowest levels in months due to the increase in physical supply and as investors reduce their bullish bets in the futures markets.
“Palm oil, the world’s most consumed edible oil, plunged more than 40% from a record close in April to the lowest level in a year, while wheat has fallen by more than 35% of one historic closing record in Marchand corn fell about 30% from its peak this year.
And Financial Times editors Emiko Terazono, Neil Hume, Laurence Fletcher and David Sheppard reported yesterday that “Commodity prices slump after all-time highsas investors reverse bullish bets on everything from corn to copper and oil in the latest sign of recession fears gripping financial markets.
Dow Jones Writer Kirk Maltais reported yesterday that “After hitting record highs this year for supply chain disruptions resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, continuous corn and soy CBOT futures contracts are now slightly down since the start of the year.”
Yesterday too, DTN writer Russ Quinn reported that, “Average retail fertilizer prices continued to be generally lower the fourth week of June 2022, according to sellers surveyed by DTN. This trend has been in place for five weeks now.
Somewhere else, Yusuf Khan, Dow Jones Writer reported yesterday that “The number of people facing hunger reached 828 million in 2021with the Covid-19 pandemic driving up the cost of food around the world and putting millions more at risk of food insecurity, according to a new UN report.
“The new figure is an increase of 46 million people since 2020 and 150 million since the start of the pandemic according to the 2022 edition of the report on the state of food security and nutrition in the world”.
In news highlighting agricultural production, Reuters writer Gus Trompiz reported today that “The European Union is heading for a lower wheat crop this year as drought and extreme heat reduce yields in some areas, offsetting brighter prospects elsewhere after timely rains, a Reuters poll showed.
“With the current harvest, the EU should produce 125.7 million tonnes of soft wheat – or common wheat – in 2022, down 3.4% of last year’s crop, based on an average of 13 forecasts in the survey.
Eric Sylvers reported in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that “Italy’s worst drought in decades threatens to ruin many crops and forces consideration of how the country manages its water resources, as rising average temperatures increase the frequency of extreme weather events across Europe.
Bloomberg writers Irina Vilcu and Andra Timu reported yesterday that “Romania urges people to reduce their water consumption severe drought is putting a strain on the supplies needed for power generation and agriculture in one of the The largest grain producers in the European Union.”
Yesterday too, George Mwangi, Dow Jones Writer reported that, “Algeria’s wheat production expected to increase by 25% in the marketing year beginning July through June 2023 compared to the prior year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
And earlier this week, Bloomberg writer Jen Skerritt reported that, “A soggy start to spring in parts of Canada Perhaps good news for wheat supply.
“Wheat acreage will increase 8.7% to 25.4 million acres, the highest level in a decade, Statistics Canada said in a report on Tuesday. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected 24.7 million. High prices and heavy rains in parts of the eastern Prairies may have prompted farmers to shift acreage to grain crops.