About 20 million tons sit in storage, as this season’s harvest begins.
Approximately 20 million tons of grain sit in storage in Ukraine, with few ways out of the country. It is a slow-moving crisis that is choking Ukraine off from the global economy, and cutting the rest of the world off from Ukraine’s critical supply of grains.
Ukraine provides about 10 percent of the global share of wheat exports, and almost half of the world’s sunflower oil. Alongside Russia, Ukraine makes this region one of the world’s “breadbaskets.” But Moscow’s war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Russia have squeezed agricultural exports from the entire Black Sea region. These products can be replaced on the global market, but at a cost. Food is harder to afford for poor countries, and for poor people in rich countries. It could deepen a worldwide hunger crisis. United Nations food agencies warn that a record 49 million people, in 46 countries, are at risk of falling into famine conditions this year.