Russia has expanded its attack on Ukraine’s grain exports to the Danube River, a key waterway through Romania, further squeezing global grain supplies and driving up world food prices.
First, Russia’s missiles struck grain stockpiles in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa, now, Russia’s attacked a key alternate export route from Ukraine through Romania.
More evidence, State Department’s Matthew Miller says, that Russia’s using food as a weapon of war, hurting Ukraine’s economy and driving up food prices for the world’s hungry and starving. Miller says; “Russia attacked grain warehouses on the Danube River, now a vital export route for grain, since Russia has effectively blocked Black Sea ports.”
American Farm Bureau trade adviser Dave Salmonsen says markets are reacting, “If there’s a potential for a shorter supply, then price will react, and we’re seeing, on the exchanges, there’s been, there’s certainly been a reaction of increasing prices of futures for wheat, here in the U.S., and I’m sure, around the world.”
But for how long before prices moderate again, Salmonsen says no one knows—ditto for whether the conflict on the Black Sea will spread.
But millions of people in underdeveloped nations in Africa and the Middle East are feeling the impact, as Russia chokes off grain export routes from Ukraine. State’s Miller says, “There is no perfect solution that would allow Ukraine to ship the same amount of grain, as it did under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, without the reopening of those sea lanes…there just simply isn’t a way to get enough grain out of the Danube ports or overland or any other means.”
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Russia to return to the Black Sea deal, citing the devastating impact its demise is having on the poor and hungry in vulnerable countries.