Contact us

AMIS Secretariat
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy

Tel: (+39) 06 570 53539
Fax: (+39) 06 570 53152
Email: [email protected]

Developments in the Black Sea region add pressures to already tight global markets

25 Feb 2022

The unfolding crisis in Ukraine comes at a moment when global food markets are already struggling with soaring prices, supply-chain disruptions and the continuing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

International grains and oilseeds markets will be particularly affected, considering that the Russian Federation and Ukraine are major exporters of cereals (accounting for about a fifth of the world's total) and important suppliers of sunflower seed and vegetable oils. However, the situation is arguably most concerning for wheat, a key food staple in many countries.

While AMIS continues to see global wheat production close to last season’s record, availabilities in main exporting countries remain at multi-year lows. Any potential drop in supply from the Black Sea region will thus be difficult to compensate from other origins. 

As the world’s largest and fourth largest exporters of wheat, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are critical players to ensure the food security of numerous countries around the world. Any serious disruption of production and exports will further escalate prices and erode food security for millions of people who are already under stress given very high levels of food inflation in their countries.

Apart from these immediate implications, the crisis also risks having negative repercussions for next season's harvest as it could affect supplies and prices of natural gas and fertilizers, for which the Russian Federation is a key exporter. As farmers prepare for the new planting season, soaring input prices could result in lower yields, lower quality production as well as a lower acreage being planted.

It is still too early to fully comprehend the implications of the crisis on agricultural markets. These will critically depend on the degree of disruption, the length of the conflict as well as the type and severity of countermeasures being put in place. The AMIS Secretariat is closely monitoring the evolving situation and will work with its partners to minimize any adverse effects on global food markets.