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Wheat: it is alarming about the drop in world production

Climate, war in Ukraine and Putin's blockade on fertilizers are weighing on them

The world grain harvest drops to 775 million tons due to the explosive mix of climate change and war that has cut sowing in Ukraine and spiked the cost of fertilizers, affecting global yields. This is the alarm on global food security launched by the UN and by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi . The result is a decline in global grain stocks which are expected to total 267 million tonnes, down for the second consecutive year and to their lowest level in six years.

The decision of Russia and Belarus to block exports until August 31 of the fertilizers needed in agriculture to ensure crop growth is also jeopardizing world crops. The Russian Federation produces 50 million tons of fertilizers, about 15% of the entire world production, with the European Union being among the main buyers and, in particular, together with Belarus it accounts for 40% of world potassium exports, one of the essential nutrients.

Wheat harvests are decreasing in the various continents from Australia to Morocco, where the lower production is estimated since 2007/08 due to drought, up to India with the Government of Delhi which has blocked exports to ensure adequate supplies to the population but in difficulty there are also some areas of the United States and China, the second largest producer in the world. Even in Europe, the great heat is affecting Germany, France, Spain and Italy with yields estimated to be slightly down, according to forecasts by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In addition, Russia and Ukraine, together account for about 28% of world grain supplies which are partly blocked due to the closure of ports on the Black Sea that prevent exports with a dramatic impact on 36 countries that depend on Moscow and Kiev for more than half of wheat imports, such as Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the FAO.

"The difficulties in production and trade are fueling the interest in the agricultural raw materials market of speculation which," according to Coldiretti, "moves from financial markets to precious metals such as gold to agricultural products where prices always depend less from the real trend of supply and demand and increasingly from financial movements and market strategies. Today anyone can invest by buying and selling the product virtually only, to the detriment of farmers and consumers".

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EFA News - European Food Agency