Ukraine-Russia war threatens wheat crisis in Middle East and North Africa

ISLAMABAD, Mar 01 ( Alliance News): Following the outbreak of war between the world’s two largest wheat producers, there is a risk of a wheat crisis in the Middle East and North Africa, which rely on both for wheat.

According to Al Jazeera, Russia is one of the largest exporters of wheat in the world and the third largest producer of wheat after China and India, while Ukraine is one of the five largest exporters of wheat in the world.

Krabaker Akonlo, a Middle East politics lecturer at the University of London, said the wheat harvest begins in July and is expected to be very high this year, which would have allowed the world to have a bumper wheat crop under normal circumstances. The war could affect the country’s harvesting process and international supplies.

At the same time, sanctions imposed on Russia’s banking system and economy by the international community following the invasion of Ukraine could affect the country’s exports.

He said the food crisis caused by the corona virus and the new crisis after the supply chain was suspended was a moment of great concern and could push prices to record levels.

Turkey produces half of the wheat used in the country, but 85% of the remaining half depends on Ukraine and Russia.

According to official statistics, Turkey’s wheat imports reached record levels in 2021.

The British university’s political scientist added that the Turkish government has said it would try to offset the loss of imported wheat from its production capacity, but that the price could rise sharply as a result.

He said that as a result of this war, this difficult year could prove to be even worse for the average Turkish citizen as the weight of bread in Turkey is decreasing but the price is increasing while the electricity bills are also increasing. ۔

The Middle East and North Africa, economically troubled by rising prices and inadequate supplies, rely heavily on Russia and Ukraine for wheat, and the war has pushed them to the brink of crisis.

Monica Marks, a professor of Middle East politics at New York University Abu Dhabi, said Ukraine supplies large quantities of pulses to these countries and that they are already in crisis. It will take a distorted shape.

He said that most of the countries in the Middle East depend on wheat for imports, Egypt is 85 percent dependent on Ukraine and Russia for wheat imports, while Tunisia is also 60-70 percent dependent on Ukraine.

Krabiker Aconlo said prices and demand could rise in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, as well as Yemen and Sudan.

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