Bread and beer prices may also suffer a massive hike due to global impacts on grain exports

An expert says the Russia-Ukraine conflict will only ‘exacerbate inflationary pressure on already surging food and energy prices’

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will continue to have global impacts related to grain exports and production, oilseeds, fertilizer, and petroleum, says a Virginia Tech agricultural trade expert.

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will continue to have global impacts related to grain exports and production, oilseeds, fertilizer and petroleum, says a Virginia Tech agricultural trade expert.

Jason Grant, Director of the Center for Agriculture Trade at Virginia Tech, says two nations at currently in conflict account for a third of the global wheat market (13-15% of global wheat production and 28% of global wheat exports). As a result, prices will increase.

“Most commodity prices are determined globally and the Russia-Ukraine conflict will only exacerbate inflationary pressure on already surging food and energy prices,” said Grant.

The coronavirus pandemic yielded great issues for global supply chains with manufacturing halted for many months across many industries. To add insult to injury, as the world began to normal it meant demand for certain products went from zero to 100, figuratively speaking.

Consumers took on the high prices on just about everything.

Farmers are no exception. In fact, they are balancing high prices across the board. Grant says input and export are a lot.

In layman’s terms, it is costing farmers more to produce things like wheat and then costing, even more, to get that wheat to suppliers who in turn create goods consumers purchase.

“How quickly can you scale production,” questioned Grant. “The market is sending a signal and it’s anticipated we’re going to need wheat.”

With the unpredictability of the conflict in Ukraine, Grants says, “I think it’s too much in turmoil to produce a reliable forecast.”

Caught in the crossfire are consumers and business owners. Karmen George, the owner of Halwa Bakery & Cafe in Blacksburg, considers herself both.

“It’s getting different every time I order,” said George.

Purchasing cups, coffee supplies, food ingredients and more have her digging deeper into her wallet.

“When you go to a place and pay $2 for something and the next day it’s like $2.25, you’d be like, ‘Ugh, I bought this for $2 yesterday. Why?’ Because stuff is getting more expensive. That’s why, and as a small business you want to make a profit from that,” stated George.

Small changes have been made in an effort to cut costs like offering reusable mugs instead of one-use disposable cups.

Thanks to loyal customers, George believes she will navigate these challenges well.

“As long as my door opens and I have customers, I will never complain,” admitted George. “I’m here. I’m waiting. We’ll figure it out, yeah!”


About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.