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Agflation accelerates due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis

Posted April. 20, 2022 07:55,   

Updated April. 20, 2022 07:55


Agflation, in which prices of food prices rise higher than the price of other goods and services, is becoming evident as the war in Ukraine, a leading crop producer, continues. Agflation is a term that coins the words agriculture and inflation.

According to Bloomberg and other news media reports on Monday, the price of Indian corn futures for July at the U.S. Chicago Mercantile Exchange recorded 8.07 dollars per bushel (25.4 kilograms), up 3% from the previous day. It is the second time since prices have risen above the eight-dollar threshold in 10 years since 2012, when mid-Western U.S. region was hit with abnormally high temperatures. Corn prices had been in the six dollar range per bushel earlier this year, but rapidly climbing since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Ukraine accounts for one fifth of the world’s corn exports, but the war has disrupted the country’s food distribution network and many farmers have missed out the sowing period. Prices are expected to further rise, however, due to the international community posing sanctions on Russia, which would impact fertilizer prices. Some say Ukraine’s corn production would drop by 40% from last year.

Prices of wheat and soybeans, which Ukraine takes up a large proportion of, continue to rise. Wheat prices are rising as well, with the U.S. and Canada facing cold spring weather. FFPI for March, compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reached 159.3 points, 12.6% higher than the previous month, and the highest since 1990.

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com