The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for half a year. How has the global food pattern changed?
August 24 is the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's Independence Day, and it is also the half-year time point since Russia launched a special military operation against Ukraine.
Half a year has passed, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is still continuing, and in the near future, there is no sign of a truce.
On the one hand, everyone is concerned about when this geopolitical conflict will end, and on the other hand, everyone is also concerned about what changes this conflict will bring to the world.
After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the global market has undergone earth-shaking changes, among which the grain market is particularly prominent.
After the conflict broke out, global food prices rose sharply. In particular, wheat and corn, which were exported by Russia and Ukraine with high export volume, rose the most, breaking through historical highs several times. Although the global market has gradually digested the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict since June, and food prices have also begun to fall due to peaking inflation and economic recession expectations, this does not mean that the global food market has returned to normal. .
So what profound changes have taken place in the global food market since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues?
1. The global food pattern is facing reconstruction
After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the United States and the West adopted a series of sanctions against Russia. In addition, the Black Sea port was closed due to the conflict, and a large amount of grain from Ukraine could not be shipped out. Very nervous, had to start looking for another source of food.
This has led to some changes in the food market, and countries that had no or little trade relations before began to reach trade cooperation and establish new trade patterns.
For example, among the sources of corn imported to China in 2021, Ukrainian corn will account for 30%, while US corn will account for 70%. However, due to the closure of the Black Sea port, Ukrainian grain cannot be shipped out, and China has also begun to look for other sources of corn. In the first half of this year, my country signed an agreement with Brazil, and Brazil's corn will be exported to China as soon as the end of the year.
On the other hand, Russia, as a major food producer and exporter, has to re-plan its strategic focus of export trade due to the impact of sanctions to avoid relevant sanctions.
Therefore, the future global food pattern will show a more diversified trade pattern, in which some people will suffer losses and some people will gain.
2. The status of food and energy has been greatly improved
Through this conflict, more and more people realize that food and energy are two top priorities.
The importance of food cannot be overstated, especially as countries that once faced the threat of hunger due to this conflict have become more and more aware of the value of food. In times of peace, the important role of food may not be so prominent, but in times of turmoil, food is not only the basis for survival, but also the first strategic material.
And even countries that are not directly threatened by hunger are feeling the pressure of rising planting costs and rising food prices. Although global food prices have fallen in the following years, their bottom prices have been significantly higher than in previous years.
On the other hand, the shortage of energy also makes the market nervous. For example, conflict and sanctions have put Europe, which has depended on Russian energy for many years, on the brink of an energy crisis. More urgently, many Europeans may have to choose between heating and eating by winter.
Energy and food are closely related to a certain extent. Rising energy prices will raise the cost of fertilizer production, thereby raising planting costs, and further boosting food prices.
3. The conflict will end, but the impact will persist
The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has been going on for half a year, and everyone is speculating about when this conflict will end, but even if the conflict ends, its impact will continue to exist.
Although with the efforts of many parties, the transportation of Black Sea ports is recovering, and Ukrainian grain is gradually being shipped out, but this experience has taught many countries a real lesson. Everyone understands that eggs cannot be put in the same basket, and grains cannot be put in the same basket. Import sources should be as diverse as possible. The implementation of this policy cannot be short-term. Even if the conflict ends, it will affect the global food trade pattern in the long run.
On the other hand, even if the conflict ends, the high probability of related sanctions will not disappear, and may even continue to increase, which will increase uncertainty for the future food market.
4. Global food is becoming more 'insecure'
With the continuation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the sentiment of food protectionism in many countries is high, and the awareness of hoarding food is high, in order to ensure the security of food.
But from another perspective, this has made global food more insecure, because global food production is limited, not to mention the possible reduction in production due to conflicts and extreme weather, which makes future global food production supply and demand will remain tight.
On the other hand, recently, Ukraine has bombed the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant one after another, 3 power lines were blown up, the international community sounded the "nuclear alarm", and the daughter of the famous Russian sociologist Dukin The assassination once again pushed the Russian-Ukrainian conflict to another historical stage. Some scholars even believe that this is likely to lead to a major out-of-control war.
All of this means that the conflict still has a lot of uncertainty.
The "Washington Post" once said on August 22, "In the past six months of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the world is on the edge of the knife", "We still feel that this is just a prelude."
No one knows when the war will end, but if you look at it from the historical dimension, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict may be short-lived, but its impact is very profound and far-reaching.