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India isn’t the only one banning food exports. These countries are doing the same

  • The war has triggered a huge spike in wheat prices, with Russia and Ukraine among the biggest exporters of the commodity. Many countries have banned wheat, as well as other food exports as a result of the Ukraine crisis.
  • “As the war continues, there is a growing likelihood that food shortages, particularly of grains and vegetable oils, will become acute, leading more countries to turn to restrictions on trade,” said the International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • Here’s a list of countries that have banned food exports in the months after the Russia-Ukraine war started, according to a live tracker developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Workers unload wheat sacks from a truck at a Punjab Grains Procurement Corp. facility in the Ludhiana district of Punjab, India, on Sunday, May 1, 2022.
India has banned wheat exports as the price of grain surged this year due in part to the Russia-Ukraine war.
T. Narayan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

India has banned wheat exports, becoming the latest country to do so as the price of grain surged this year due in part to the Russia-Ukraine war.

The war has triggered a huge spike in wheat prices, with Russia and Ukraine among the biggest exporters of the commodity. Both countries account for 29% of global wheat exports, according to the World Bank.

“With food prices already high due to COVID-related supply chain disruptions and drought-reduced yields last year, Russia’s invasion came at a bad time for global food markets,” said the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in an April note.

Washington D.C.-based think-tank the Peterson Institute for International Economics added in a recent note that Russia’s war on Ukraine has “taken a shocking toll on the region.” “It has also contributed to a global food crisis, as Russia is blocking vital fertilizer exports needed by farmers elsewhere, and Ukraine’s role as the breadbasket for Africa and the Middle East has been destroyed.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cutting Off Russian Gas Would Be “Catastrophic”, German Industry President Warns

Cutting Off Russian Gas Would Be “Catastrophic”, German Industry President Warns

As we detailed yesterday, almost two months after Europe rushed to declare it would impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine with no regard for how such sanctions would boomerang and cripple its own economies, the old continent which was and still remains hostage to Russian energy exports, is finally grasping the underlying math which was all too clear to Vladimir Putin long ago.

The European Union’s executive arm said yesterday that the currency bloc’s economy would expand about 0.2% this year, with inflation topping 9%, as governments struggled to replace the imports.

This severe stagflationary scenario is highlighted by Siegfried Russwurm, president of the Germany’s biggest industry association BDI, warning that the cessation of Russian gas deliveries would have a dire effect on the German economy.

“The consequences of cutting off Russian gas supplies would be catastrophic,” he told tabloid Bild am Sonntag in an interview published at the weekend.

Russwurm added that cutting off Russian gas would deprive businesses of fuel in Germany, forcing businesses to close production lines.

“In this situation many companies will be completely cut off gas supplies. In many cases, affected businesses will be forced to stop production, some businesses may never be able to start again,” he warned.

Europe’s “sudden realization” of just how destructive pushing through with full-blown sanctions will be, somewhat similar to that of Elon Musk who “learned” about the millions in Twitter spam accounts only after bidding $44 billion – is why over the weekend, Bloomberg reported that the European Union is set to fully water down its so-called sanctions and to offer gas importers a solution to avoid a breach of sanctions when buying fuel from Russia while satisfying President Vladimir Putin’s demands over payment in rubles.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

European Natural Gas Prices To Triple In “Perfect Storm”

European Natural Gas Prices To Triple In “Perfect Storm”

A top commodity research firm in Norway warns a “perfect storm” is brewing as European energy security worsens following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which could result in the tripling of natural gas prices.

“There simply is not enough LNG around to meet demand. In the short term, this will make for a hard winter in Europe

“For producers, it suggests the next LNG boom is here, but it will arrive too late to meet the sharp spike in demand. The stage is set for a sustained supply deficit, high prices, extreme volatility, bullish markets, and heightened LNG geopolitics,” Kaushal Ramesh, a senior analyst for Gas and LNG at Rystad Energy, wrote. 

Rystad Energy said the EU has an “ambitious target to reduce dependence on Russian gas by 66% within this year – an aim that will clash with the EU’s goal of replenishing gas storage to 80% of capacity by 1 November.”

The firm said shunning Russian natgas from the continent destabilizes the entire global natgas market, which had a turbulent 2021 year-end with prices skyrocketing across Europe because of the lack of supplies. EU is currently reducing reliance on Russian natgas and has unveiled the possibility of banning Russian fossil fuels. This will only lead to more trouble for the EU, where prices could rise even higher.

Learn more with Rystad Energy’s GasMarketCube.

According to the report, 155 billion cubic meters of Russian natgas flowed into Europe in 2021, representing about 31% of the continent’s natgas supply.

Replacing a significant portion of this will be exceedingly difficult, with far-reaching consequences for Europe’s population, economy, and for the role of gas in the region’s energy transition,” Rystad Energy noted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Whispers of the Fall

Whispers of the Fall

It’s been sixteen years now since I first started posting these weekly essays to the internet. Though I didn’t originally intend them to focus on the crisis of industrial society, that theme was impossible for me to evade, and I soon gave up trying; there was too much that had to be said about the future of our age, and too few people were saying it.  Over the years that followed, I watched (and joined in) the peak oil movement as it rose and fell, watched (and kept my distance from) the parallel movement of climate change activism as it rose and fell, watched (and dealt in my own life with some of the consequences of) the slow twilight of America’s global empire and the vaster twilight of Western civilization as a whole—and all of those got discussed in blog posts.

I sometimes get asked by readers what happened to all the fuss about peak oil, and now and again someone brings up one of the other topics I’ve talked about over the years and wonders what’s up with those. A glance back over those four themes thus seems appropriate just now. Partly, a retrospective look is a useful thing from time to time, and partly—well, we’ll get to that.

We can start with peak oil.  Starting in the middle years of the twentieth century, a handful of petroleum geologists began to point out that building a civilization on the breakneck extraction and consumption of nonrenewable fossil fuels would have an awkward downside once the fuels began to run short. Their concerns were brushed aside by almost everyone else.  When the United States—the first nation on earth to start extracting oil commercially…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Megalopolis x Russia: Total War

Megalopolis x Russia: Total War

After careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”.

But it’s our fate / To have no place to rest, / As suffering mortals / Blindly fall and vanish / From one hour / To the next, / Like water falling / From cliff to cliff, downward / For years to uncertainty.

Holderlin, Hyperion’s Fate Song

Operation Z is the first salvo of a titanic struggle: three decades after the fall of the USSR, and 77 years after the end of WWII, after careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”. No wonder the Empire of Lies has gone completely berserk, obsessed in completely expelling Russia from the West-centric system.

The U.S. and its NATO puppies cannot possibly come to grips with their perplexity when faced with a staggering loss: no more entitlement allowing exclusive geopolitical use of force to perpetuate “our values”. No more Full Spectrum Dominance.

The micro-picture is also clear. The U.S. Deep State is milking to Kingdom Come its planned Ukraine gambit to cloak a strategic attack on Russia. The “secret” was to force Moscow into an intra-Slav war in Ukraine to break Nord Stream 2 – and thus German reliance on Russian natural resources. That ends – at least for the foreseeable future – the prospect of a Bismarckian Russo-German connection that would ultimately cause the U.S. to lose control of the Eurasian landmass from the English Channel to the Pacific to an emerging China-Russia-Germany pact.

The American strategic gambit, so far, has worked wonders. But the battle is far from over. Psycho neo-con/neoliberalcon silos inside the Deep State consider Russia such a serious threat to the “rules-based international order” that they are ready to risk if not incur a “limited” nuclear war out of their gambit…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ukraine Grain Strain: Almost 25 Million Tonnes Blocked From Export

Ukraine Grain Strain: Almost 25 Million Tonnes Blocked From Export

A massive backlog of grain shipments is piling up in Ukraine to the tune of nearly 25 million tonnes due to ‘infrastructure challenges’ and blocked ports in the Black Sea, including Mariupol, Reuters reports, citing a UN food agency official.’

Ukraine was the fourth-largest exporter of maize (corn) in the 2020/21 season, and the sixth-largest wheat exporter in the world, according to the International Grains Council.

It’s an almost grotesque situation we see at the moment in Ukraine with nearly 25 mln tonnes of grain that could be exported but that cannot leave the country simply because of lack of infrastructure, the blockade of the ports,” said FAO Deputy Director Josef Schmidhuber during a Geneva press briefing via Zoom.

According to Schmidhuber, the full silos could result in storage shortages for this year’s July and August harvests.

“Despite the war the harvest conditions don’t look that dire. That could really mean there’s not enough storage capacity in Ukraine, particularly if there’s no wheat corridor opening up for export from Ukraine.”

He alluded to destroyed grain storage as a result of the Russian invasion, without elaborating.

CNN, however, reports from ‘multiple sources’ that Russian forces have allegedly plundered farm equipment and hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grains from Ukraine, with the Ministry of Defense estimating on Thursday that 400,000 tonnes of grain had been stolen to date.

[And given the source(s), the usual ‘grain of salt’ disclaimer applies as to the extent and accuracy of claims.]

Oleg Nivievskyi at the Kyiv School of Economics told CNN the thefts of farm equipment, such as tractors and harvesters, by Russian forces have been absolutely devastating for Ukrainian farmers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

US Intel Assisted In Sinking Russian Flagship Vessel: Officials Claim Bombshell Escalation

US Intel Assisted In Sinking Russian Flagship Vessel: Officials Claim Bombshell Escalation

Less than 24 hours after The New York Times issued a provocative report citing unnamed US officials who are celebrating that American intelligence-sharing with Ukraine’s military has helped take out multiple Russian generals since the Feb.24 invasion, NBC News is out with yet another bombshell claim sourced to the deep state US intel officials.

Amid what seems escalation after escalation, and new revelations of Washington’s deepening and perhaps increasingly direct role in fighting Russia in Ukraine, NBC brings us this doozy… “Intelligence shared by the U.S. helped Ukraine sink the Russian cruiser Moskva, U.S. officials told NBC News, confirming an American role in perhaps the most embarrassing blow to Vladimir Putin’s troubled invasion of Ukraine.”

Image later leaked of the April 15 sinking of the Moskva

As a reminder of just how hugely significant the claim is – and just how dangerous in terms of representing a massive escalation – the Moskva was considered the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, had 510 crewmen on board before Neptune anti-cruise ship missiles scored a direct hit in mid-April, and was the most embarrassing single blow to President Putin’s war effort of the whole conflict thus far.’

“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the report continues. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.” This comes after the NY Times revealed in a report the night prior that much of the intel-sharing is focused on Russian troop and equipment movements.

According to further details based on anonymous US senior officials:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

World’s Largest Fertilizer Company Warns Crop Nutrient Disruptions Through 2023

World’s Largest Fertilizer Company Warns Crop Nutrient Disruptions Through 2023

The world’s largest fertilizer company warned supply disruptions could extend into 2023. A bulk of the world’s supply has been taken offline due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This has sparked soaring prices and shortages of crop nutrients in top growing areas worldwide; an early indication of a global food crisis could be in the beginning innings.

Bloomberg reports Canada-based Nutrien Ltd.’s CEO Ken Seitz told investors on Tuesday during a conference call that he expects to increase potash production following supply disruptions in Russia and Ukraine (both major fertilizer suppliers). Seitz expects disruptions “could last well beyond 2022.”

Seitz said the conflict plus Western sanctions on Russia and Belarus has reduced fertilizer supply on global markets and could reshape crop nutrient trade, thus creating even more supply uncertainty.

“Could there be a change in global trade patterns as a result? We think that’s a possibility,” he said. 

Fertilizer disruptions could be a multi-year event. Already, farmers worldwide are reducing fertilizers, which may threaten yields come harvest time. The repercussions could be huge: Lower yields may exacerbate the food crisis. 

Here are the latest signs commercial farmers worldwide are reducing fertilizer usage because of higher prices or shortages.

Revealed last week, SLC Agricola SA, one of Brazil’s largest farming operations, managing fields of soybeans, corn, and cotton fields in an area larger than the state of Delaware, will reduce the use of fertilizer by 20% and 25%

Coffee farmers in Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, some of the largest coffee-producing countries, are expected to spread less fertilizer because of high costs and shortages. A coffee cooperative representing 1,200 farmers in Costa Rica predicts coffee output could slip 15% next year because of soaring fertilizer costs. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card

The only antidote to propaganda dementia is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed.

Especially since the onset of GWOT (Global War on Terror) at the start of the millennium, no one ever lost money betting against the toxic combo of hubris, arrogance and ignorance serially deployed by the Empire of Chaos and Lies.

What passes for “analysis” in the vast intellectual no-fly zone known as U.S. Think Tankland includes wishful thinking babble such as Beijing “believing” that Moscow would play a supporting role in the Chinese century just to see Russia, now, in the geopolitical driver’s seat.

This is a fitting example not only of outright Russophobic/Sinophobic paranoia about the emergence of peer competitors in Eurasia – the primeval Anglo-American nightmare – but also crass ignorance about the finer points of the complex Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

As Operation Z methodically hits Phase 2, the Americans – with a vengeance – have also embarked on their symmetrical Phase 2, which de facto translates as an outright escalation towards Totalen Krieg, from shades of hybrid to incandescent, everything of course by proxy. Notorious Raytheon weapons peddler reconverted into Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, gave away the game in Kiev:

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

So this is it: the Empire wants to annihilate Russia. Cue to War Inc.’s frenzy of limitless weapon cargos descending on Ukraine, the overwhelming majority on the road to be duly eviscerated by Russian precision strikes. The Americans are sharing intel 24/7 with Kiev not only on Donbass and Crimea but also Russian territory…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

You Are Not Real

Shakespeare’s famously gory “Titus Andronicus” is replete with violence, including fourteen deaths. Yet it continues to be performed, and audiences continue to sign up for a frisson of fear and pity, because this is not real.

After the play, the actors get up, wash off the fake blood, and join the playwrights and directors for drinks or dinner.

If, like me, you’ve been wondering about why things are the way they are in today’s world, and how this relates, this is my explanation: For the actors, writers and directors who create real world narratives, the play is you. And you are not real.

Actors and Reality

Much has been made of the jarring dissonance between the heroic stand of the president and the people of Ukraine and the facile signaling of the Social Justice crowd. Feel free to pick your favorite exemplar, from the merely stupid banning of Russian cats and renaming of White Russian cocktails to the more sinister cancelling of Russian performers, or the horrific threats and vandalism to places serving Russian food. There’s no shortage of content here. And, as we’ll get to shortly, that’s the point.

 

Ukraine’s policy goals do not map fully to those of the United States (think Azov Battalion, for starters), and we can and should carefully consider our response with that awareness. But this does not change Ukrainian heroism. Zelensky wants planes, a no-fly zone, and he would no doubt love NATO boots on the ground. Prudence may dictate we provide him none of these, but it is worth noting that any of us in his circumstances would likely be asking for the same things. Any of us who stayed during the onslaught, that is.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s Not Just High Oil Prices. It’s a Full-Blown Energy Crisis.

In Peru, protests that began in March against rising fuel and fertilizer costs spread throughout the country.
Credit…Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters
Americans are worrying about their gas prices. Germans are turning down their heating. Peru has seen violent protests — and a violent crackdown on them — over rising fuel costs. Nigeria’s national energy grid recently collapsed. And that’s just this spring. Focused on the future, the United Nations Intergovernmental Planet on Climate Change warned in a report on April 4 that too much investment is going into fossil fuels and too little into the energy transition that could prevent a devastating increase in global temperatures.

This persistent, simmering crisis around energy, its cost and the politics around it will not end soon.

Vladimir Putin has escalated this crisis. His invasion of Ukraine has pushed up prices and forced Europe — until now the largest importer of Russian natural gas — to begin an attempt to end its longstanding dependence on Russian gas. But Mr. Putin didn’t cause this crisis alone. For nearly a year before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supply struggled to meet demand, causing prices to surge. For the best part of a decade, the American shale boom met the world’s rising energy needs, but in 2020 shale oil output slumped and the rate of growth of shale gas fell.

President Biden’s hope that he could focus his presidency on the climate, not fixing the world’s oil supply, shattered. Unable to resurrect a nuclear deal with Iran that would have restored Iranian oil to world markets, Mr. Biden began last year to ask other producers to increase their output. His pressure was to no avail. Meanwhile, China’s demand for gas imports grew by 20 percent over 2021, helping push European gas prices up nearly sixfold between March and December.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ukraine war: World Bank warns of ‘human catastrophe’ food crisis

Ukraine war: World Bank warns of ‘human catastrophe’ food crisis

A combine harvester in a wheat field.IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES

The world faces a “human catastrophe” from a food crisis arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, World Bank president David Malpass has said.

He told the BBC that record rises in food prices would push hundreds of millions people into poverty and lower nutrition, if the crisis continues.

The World Bank calculates there could be a “huge” 37% jump in food prices.

This would hit the poor hardest, who will “eat less and have less money for anything else such as schooling”.

In an interview with BBC economics editor Faisal Islam, Mr Malpass, who leads the institution charged with global alleviation of poverty, said the impact on the poor made it “an unfair kind of crisis… that was true also of Covid”.

“It’s a human catastrophe, meaning nutrition goes down. But then it also becomes a political challenge for governments who can’t do anything about it, they didn’t cause it and they see the prices going up,” he said on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington.

The price rises are broad and deep, he said: “It’s affecting food of all different kinds oils, grains, and then it gets into other crops, corn crops, because they go up when wheat goes up”.

There was enough food in the world to feed everybody, he said, and global stockpiles are large by historical standards, but there will have to be a sharing or sales process to get the food to where it is needed.

Mr Malpass also discouraged countries from subsidising production or capping prices.

Instead, he said, the focus needed to be on increasing supplies across the world of fertilisers and food, alongside targeted assistance for the very poorest people.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rockefeller Foundation President Starts Countdown Until All Hell Breaks Loose

Rockefeller Foundation President Starts Countdown Until All Hell Breaks Loose

Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah told Bloomberg Television’s David Westin a “massive, immediate food crisis” is on the horizon.

Shah provides what could be a timeline for the next global food crisis that could begin “in the next six months.” 

He said global fertilizer supply disruptions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine would have an “even worse” impact on the crisis, slashing crop yields worldwide.

Shah said debt relief and emergency aid for emerging market countries are needed to mitigate the effects of the food crisis.

Shah’s appearance on Bloomberg is interesting because of the foundation’s repetitive talk about the need for the global food supply to be reset to a more sustainable one. The foundation has closely aligned views with the World Economic Forum (WEF), advocating for a ‘global reset‘.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab famously said in early 2020, months after the virus pandemic began, “The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.”

While Schwab and other global elites have been calling for a global reset, Rockefeller Foundation’s managing director of Food Initiative Sara Farley has echoed the same message.

Farley’s note published on WEF’s website titled “How to reimagine our food systems for a post-COVID world” outlined the need to “redesign supply chains with nutrition and human health in mind.”

Rockefeller Foundation’s senior vice president of Food Initiative Roy Steiner recently said, “the world is spending far too much on foods that are bad for people and bad for the planet.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ukraine war: World Bank warns of ‘human catastrophe’ food crisis

Ukraine war: World Bank warns of ‘human catastrophe’ food crisis

A combine harvester in a wheat field.IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES

The world faces a “human catastrophe” from a food crisis arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, World Bank president David Malpass has said.

He told the BBC that record rises in food prices would push hundreds of millions people into poverty and lower nutrition, if the crisis continues.

The World Bank calculates there could be a “huge” 37% jump in food prices.

This would hit the poor hardest, who will “eat less and have less money for anything else such as schooling”.

In an interview with BBC economics editor Faisal Islam, Mr Malpass, who leads the institution charged with global alleviation of poverty, said the impact on the poor made it “an unfair kind of crisis… that was true also of Covid”.

“It’s a human catastrophe, meaning nutrition goes down. But then it also becomes a political challenge for governments who can’t do anything about it, they didn’t cause it and they see the prices going up,” he said on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington.

The price rises are broad and deep, he said: “It’s affecting food of all different kinds oils, grains, and then it gets into other crops, corn crops, because they go up when wheat goes up”.

There was enough food in the world to feed everybody, he said, and global stockpiles are large by historical standards, but there will have to be a sharing or sales process to get the food to where it is needed.

Mr Malpass also discouraged countries from subsidising production or capping prices.

Instead, he said, the focus needed to be on increasing supplies across the world of fertilisers and food, alongside targeted assistance for the very poorest people.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will We Have Food Shortages In America?

Will We Have Food Shortages In America?

Green milling tractor.
Aerial shot of a milling tractor (Tom Fisk/Pexels).

Higher Food Prices And Shortages?

Our system has been betting on higher food prices since earlier this year, and of course the war in Ukraine has put upward pressure on food an energy. But now one of our Twitter correspondents warns we may have food shortages in America as well. Let’s start with the case for higher prices, then consider his warning of shortages and what to do about them.

Betting On Higher Food And Energy Prices

A month before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our system’s top names had shifted to an energy and food focus, as we noted in a post here at the time (Why Civilizations Collapse).

In that post, we noted we had two oil E&P stocks (Laredo Petroleum (LPI) and Antero Resources (AR)), two oil ETFs (ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil (UCO) and VanEck Vectors Oil Services (OIH)), and a coffee ETN (iPath Series B Bloomberg Subindex Total Return (JO)) and a corn ETF (Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN)) in our top ten names.

Screen capture via the Portfolio Armor on 1/28/2022.

Since then, the energy and corn names have ripped higher (though coffee has cooled off a bit).

Of course, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has played a role here. In addition to being one of the world’s top exporters of wheat (along with Ukraine), Russia is also one of the top exporters of agricultural inputs such as oil, natural gas, and fertilizer. The war, plus the sanctions regime in response to it, have raised food and energy prices and raised the prospect of food shortages in countries such as Egypt, which are dependent on wheat imports. America, as an agricultural superpower, seemed less likely to suffer food shortages.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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