(TruthandLiberty.com) – Since 2020, China has shut down regions of the country to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. While the move may prevent more people from getting sick, it’s also coming with a potential set of new problems. In addition, while the brutal war by Russia against Ukraine is costing lives, the difficulties could extend well beyond the borders of Ukraine.
Together, Ukraine and Russia produce almost 30% of the world’s wheat. Additionally, Russia is the world’s largest exporter of fertilizers farmers use to grow healthy crops. Between the pandemic lockdowns, the war in Ukraine, and crippling sanctions, a perfect storm is brewing that could have a devastating impact on the world’s food prices.
Fertilizer Supplies Hit China Especially Hard
Without Russia and Ukraine to supply wheat and fertilizer, food prices are likely to soar and create instability across the globe. On March 21, Fortune Magazine reported that fertilizer prices hit record highs, increasing fears global starvation and food insecurities could shoot up to the highest levels since World War II.
On Friday, April 1, Reuters warned the lack of fertilizer from Russia could disrupt spring corn and soybean crop planting. In addition to the low supply, the cost of fertilizer has shot up between 30% to 40% worldwide. As the prices rose dramatically, Chinese distributors cut back on purchasing fertilizer. The country is short on thousands of tons of the farming staple.
In February, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that food security could become a severe problem in 2022. Amid the warnings, the Chinese Communist Government instituted policies to make the country as self-sufficient as possible. Without a proper supply of fertilizer, China won’t be able to reach its goal of growing more food inside the country.
Food Prices Could Soar Worldwide and Cause a Humanitarian Disaster
In Ukraine, the wheat planting season is just weeks away, but it appears the Russian military may not allow farmers to grow their crops under the threat of artillery fire or airpower. National Geographic says 26 countries receive over half their grain from Russia and Ukraine. The chief economist at the UN World Food Programme, Arif Husain, said if world leaders don’t resolve the war as quickly as possible, things will get worse if the harvest doesn’t produce food. Husain said Ukraine makes food for 400 million people.
In addition to the war’s impact on this year’s potential crops, sanctions and the war left 16 million tons of corn from last year’s harvest in the two countries. Across the world, global supplies of wheat, corn, and soybeans are at the lowest levels in over a decade. Worse still, the fertilizer issue will likely impact every farmer worldwide and could cause food production declines for virtually all foods, not just wheat.
As America suffers through the worst inflation in 40 years due to the pandemic, lockdowns, and government spending, the inflation problem at home may be about to get worse before it gets better. What happens across the world impacts what happens at home.
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