Major Famine Imminent: 15-20% Shortfall in the World Food Production?
We warned on March 23rd that if the Russia Ukraine war was not over soon, we would have a worldwide famine. You can read our projections here. Russian Invasion Could Spark Massive Famine
Now it is a virtual certainty. According to Reuters, Ukraine provides 16% of global corn exports and 12% of wheat.
“This year, Ukraine plans to sow 70% of the acreage”, said First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotsky. “According to the pessimistic forecast, it is clear that it will be possible to sow 70%. If the territories of Chernihiv and Sumy regions, which have huge agricultural areas, will be cleared in the coming weeks, it is possible that the acreage will grow to 80%,” the deputy minister said. 30-40% of the crops will be used for domestic consumption, and the remainder for export.
Let’s do some quick math. Lose 30% of production, then 40% of the remaining is for domestic consumption. That means that less than half of the normal grains will be available to export to their third world importers.
That assumes that the First Deputy Minster of Agrarian Policy and Food is telling the truth, which is highly unlikely. I’m guessing these figures will be revised downward, even with the best-case outcomes of the war.
But if the war continues for another month, this will become progressively worse. As infrastructure is destroyed, Ukraine may export relatively little wheat or corn.
Add to this the news that crops in Argentina, Chile and Brazil are lower from drought conditions and the U.S. will not be able to make up the difference, and it seems that food supplies could easily fall short 15% to 20%
There will be famine.
The rich countries will get grains first, the poorest will be disproportionately affected.
Libya, Egypt, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Yemen will likely be the worst hit. They can least afford it and have little political clout.
Perhaps my numbers are overly pessimistic. That’s my job. This will likely not last for more than one year, every producer can increase production, and prices will rise to encourage it. Heck, the U.S. alone could feed the world if it ramped up to grow in every available field.
But right now we are looking at a massive shortfall, and people on the bottom rung of the ladder will die. And no reprieve until crops are in, in Fall of 2023.
This is yet another situation overlooked by the Biden Administration, whose incompetence allowed this war to happen.