Shoppers Scramble for Staples as the Food Fallout From the War in Ukraine Spreads Around the World


The shockwaves in global crop markets from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are now spreading to store shelves.

Worries about surging sunflower oil prices triggered heavy buying over the weekend in Turkey, as footage of citizens trying to grab tins of cheaper oil at one store went viral. In Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat importer, prices for some unsubsidized bread have jumped in the past week.

The war has already driven wheat prices 70% higher in Chicago this year and is threatening to upend global food trade. Russia and Ukraine are vital suppliers of grains, vegetable oil and fertilizers, which means that supply disruptions will be felt all over the world. Wheat prices have surpassed levels last seen during the 2008 global food crisis—which helped spark widespread protests—and a United Nations index of food prices hit a record in February.


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