The Ukrainian government has halted the export licensing of key foodstuffs including wheat, corn, poultry meat, and sunflower oil, according to the Ukrainian news agency Interfax Ukraine. This comes amidst fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could trigger a global food crisis.
The government passed a resolution on Sunday that introduced zero quotas for exports of corn, oats, buckwheat, millet, sugar and salt suitable for human consumption, subject to licensing in 2022.
On the same day, Interfax Ukraine reported the country’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal saying that the government will limit the export of various socially important goods and the raw materials from which they are produced.
This announcement has sparked fears of food shortages, both in the EU and in the UK, as Ukraine is a key exporter of agricultural products.
For the European Union, Ukraine alone accounts for 19% of the bloc’s wheat imports and 13% of oilseed imports.
According to the UK Department of International Trade, Britain imports £147.7 million worth of cereal, £114.0 million of oil-seeds & oleaginous (oil rich) fruits, £109.4 million of vegetable oils & fats, and £18.1 million of organic chemicals, which could be used to produce fertilizer.
Together, these account for 58.6 percent of the UK’s total imports from the country.
The Russian invasion has to wheat prices soaring, with warnings that stretched commodity prices could lead to food price inflation pushed to even greater heights.
Prices of wheat have surged to a 14-year high after climbing 38 percent since the start of February, and around 75 percent so far this year.
READ MORE: War in Ukraine sends food prices soaring globally WFP warns