Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine, an agricultural powerhouse, expected to supply around 12% of world wheat exports this year and more than 16% of corn. But the fighting and fuel shortages have disrupted their farming. Today, the most pressing problem is the difficulty in getting grain out of the country.
Normally, almost all of Ukraine’s grain exports are carried out by sea. Today, Russia has occupied some of Ukraine’s ports and destroyed the infrastructure in others. Even those that remain intact and under government control are unusable due to Russian mines and warships.
Ukraine’s shortfall in grain deliveries has pushed up food prices and sparked fears of famine, especially in Africa, where some countries get more than 90% of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia. Western leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, promised to find a solution. But many doubt Russia will stick to any deal.
Meanwhile, exporters have been scrambling to find alternative ways to get at least some of the product out of the country. Reports our correspondent Gulliver Cragg.
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