War in Ukraine Spikes Commodity Prices

Feb. 28, 2022
Wheat futures are at their highest levels since 2012 and prices of other commodities are soaring as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Wheat futures are at their highest levels since 2012 and prices of other commodities are soaring as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine – a situation that some observers say could endure indefinitely.

Prices for wheat, corn, sunflower oil and other commodities have spiked since the start of the invasion, as have ancillary expenses like transportation and fertilizer. Ukraine is the world’s leading export of sunflower seed oil – a situation that will have an impact on the prices of edible oils in general – and the fourth-largest exporter of both corn and wheat.

Wheat and soybean futures reached their highest prices in almost 10 years, while corn reached an eight-month high.

The war is not only disrupting territory used for farmland, it is affecting production on several other fronts: by forcing the closure of processing facilities, like a grain terminal near Odessa owned by Archer Daniels Midland; by forcing up the cost of natural gas, a key component of fertilizer; and by interrupting ocean shipments, especially from the Black Sea.

Markets also will be affected by a potential freezeout of Russia from world markets. Russia is the world’s leading exporter of grain.

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