Food security

Ukraine war could affect SA food prices

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could make South African food more expensive.

The reasons are set out by agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo in an article in the academic journal The Conversation.

Russia and Ukraine are major contributors to global grain supplies, particularly wheat, maize and soya. The conflict is already causing a rise in grain prices, which have helped push world prices higher over the past two years.

Sihlobo says the full impact of the conflict in Ukraine has yet to become clear, but many African countries have reason to be worried given their dependency on grain imports. In the near term, countries are likely to see a surge in prices, rather than actual shortages of the commodities.

That’s good news for South Africa’s grain farmers, but bad news for poultry farmers, for whom feed constitutes nearly 70% of input costs.  And it heralds more hardship for consumers, who may see a further spurt in food prices in months to come.