Food exports from Ukraine and Russia have increased since a July 22 grain deal, but much-needed fertilizer exports from Russia are still falling despite being covered by the deal, with financing and shipping still struggling, the said United Nations on Tuesday.
.N. Trade chief Rebeca Grynspan, who leads the team trying to facilitate unhindered global access to Russian food and fertilizers, said Russia reported a 12% increase in food exports from June to July. But while there has been “significant progress,” the United Nations is concerned about fertilizer exports needed by October and November, at the latest for the northern hemisphere planting season, she said.
Fertilizers are now three times more expensive than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, Grynspan said, adding that “the affordability crisis that we have now will be a catastrophic crisis if we don’t solve the fertilizer problem.” ”
As an example, she said that the sowing season for new crops in West Africa is over and sowings have fallen by a very high percentage due to fertilizer costs.
Grynspan told a UN press conference via video from Geneva that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported that food prices fell for the fifth consecutive month around the world in August. However, she expressed concern that domestic markets were not replicating this decline and developing countries in particular were still struggling with high food prices, as well as inflation, currency depreciation and interest rate hikes.
Amir Abdulla, the United Nations coordinator for the Ukrainian grain shipment agreement, said 129 fully loaded ships carrying over 2.8 million tons of grain left Ukraine’s three designated Black Sea ports bound for various countries.
With grain prices falling, Abdulla said, the UN has seen that people who had stockpiled grain to sell at high prices are now putting it on the market in one or two countries. “Hopefully that will lower some of those local prices,” he said via video from Istanbul.
On July 22, Russia and Ukraine signed separate deals with Turkey and the United Nations, paving the way for exports of much-needed grain and fertilizers and ending a wartime standoff that threatened food security around the world.
Ukraine was one of the world’s top exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but the February 24 Russian invasion of the country and the naval blockade of its ports had halted supplies.
Some of Ukraine’s grain is transported across Europe by rail, road and river, but prices for essential commodities like wheat and barley had skyrocketed ahead of the grain deal, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described as an unprecedented two-party agreement to conflict .
Although international sanctions against Russia did not target food exports, the war disrupted shipments of Russian products because shipping and insurance companies refused to do business with Russia.
Grynspan, secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, said the UN has made it clear to the insurance, finance and shipping industries that there are no sanctions against Russian ships carrying food or fertilizer. She explained that this includes dealing with the private sector, where “the market has been a deterrent.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/agri-business/un-food-exports-from-ukraine-are-up-russia-fertiliser-down-41987946.html UN: Food exports from Ukraine increase, fertilizers from Russia decrease