Food Ingredient Seed Ball Bean


As if it's not tough enough for parents who use baby formula with their children, experts predict that poor harvests, heatwaves and war in Ukraine disruptions will not only continue to increase food prices, but create more shortages for key ingredients.


To protect their own nation's food supplies, a number of countries have placed export bans on many items much of the world relies on--things like wheat, beef, sunflower oil, sugar and maize.

In an article with Business Insider, chief economist at ADM Investor Services International Marc Ostwald said that there are a myriad of problems and none seem they'll resolve themselves in a great hurry. Much of the concern stems from natural conditions like heatwaves but others from supply-chain issues we've been dealing with for a couple of years now.

In 2007 and 2008, countries like Ukraine and other major grain exporters refrained from exporting to keep their prices and supply ample for their countries. The war in Ukraine has certainly not helped the situation, as Ukraine has halted wheat exports (how can you even plant new crops when you're war-torn?). Indonesia has banned the export of palm oil and Argentina has restricted certain beef cuts.

As food prices continue to increase with inflation, the crisis will only get worse as demand will grow and the haves will buy while the have-nots will not. Countries tend to get nervous when they see other countries enact export bans, and worry about their own countries more. That encourages more bans, and experts believe we're not done seeing export ban effects.

What's been restricted in the last year? Here are top exports that the U.S. depends on, as well as price changing percentages in the last 12 months.

Food prices

Bloomberg/Business Insider

Wheat

Major producers of wheat include Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and India, all of which have banned exports. Russia is the world's largest exporter, with India as the second, and both countries have put measures in place to protect their domestic food market.

Palm Oil

Indonesia is the world's biggest exporter of edible oils and they banned the shipping of palm oil. While palm oil is certainly not great for any of us, it's still a major ingredient and many food items and will cause direct food inflation for most other products--if nothing else, making alternatives even more expensive because of demand.

Sunflower oil

Russia is also a supplier of sunflower seeds and between April and August, has a cap on sunflower seed and oil exports. Ukraine and Russia are the world's largest producers of sunflower oil, with Ukraine providing over 50% of the world's sunflower oil in trade.

Beef

Argentina put a ban on exports of seven beef cuts until 2023. Being the fifth-largest beef exporter in the world, this made live cattle futures rise 12% in the last year. Retail ground beef prices have risen by 20% in the last year.

Soybean Oil
Argentina has also suspended the export of soybean oil and soybean meal. They're the top exporter of soybean oil in the world, and the ban on exports came as a result of drought in the country. Experts predict the La Nina effect will be bad news as well, and leave room for more drought in the country, as well as in the southern third part of the United States where soybeans are also grown.

Sugar

Algeria, Russia, Kosovo and Ukraine have frozen exports and food security is a concern in all those countries. The price of sugar has increased about 30% in the last year.


Maize

While there haven't been any maize bans from countries yet, Ukraine simply can't export it because of military operations. Already corn prices have risen by 10% and while not the rise like 41% in wheat or 75% in cost of palm oil, corn prices are the highest they've been in a decade.


So what's the take on all this? Support your local farmer. Grow your own whole foods. LOVE YOUR GARDEN. Eat out less. Eat fewer processed foods. Plan your meals. Use ingredients you already have until you can't anymore. Buy bulk if you're able to. Skip pre-packaged snacks and pack nutrient-dense snacks you can take on the go.

It's the little things we do that will add up for big savings and battling against food inflation and shortages.