Ukraine Conflict and Other Factors Contributing to High Commodity Prices and Food Insecurity [open pdf - 700KB]
From the Executive Summary: "A number of factors have converged over the last 18 months to send global agricultural commodity prices to near-record levels. Russia's invasion of Ukraine - and the potential loss of Ukrainian exports - was the latest development to push commodity prices higher. Other factors affecting global markets, which date back to late 2020, include: increased global demand, led by China; drought-reduced supplies; tightening wheat, corn, and soybean stocks in major exporting countries; high energy prices pushing up the costs of fertilizer, transportation, and agricultural production; and countries imposing export bans and restrictions, further tightening supplies. As observed during the food price crises of 2008 and 2012, developing countries that are dependent on food imports are the most vulnerable to food insecurity. Such countries tend to respond to price signals by shifting consumption and trade patterns, while larger exporting nations respond by increasing production to meet demand. However, the geopolitical turmoil of a war between two major agricultural exporting countries, including the world's largest fertilizer exporter (Russia), adds additional uncertainty and concern to today's situation."
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: https://www.fas.usda.gov/