The Black Sea Breadbasket in Crisis: Facts and Figures


Russia and Ukraine combine for one third of global wheat and barley exports. North Africa, the Middle East and some Asian countries import half of their total grain supply from these two countries. Agriculture in other regions, especially in Central Africa, relies almost exclusively on potassium and nitrogen fertilizer produced from crude oil in Russia and Belarus. With a global market share of 20 percent, Russian gas plays in itself an important role in agricultural production and transportation of goods.

In addition to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine starting on February 24th, 2022, severely threatens global food security. The global food price hike already prior to the conflict, the supply chain disruptions and physical destruction in the wake of the war, as well as economic sanctions affecting the gas trade, severely impacts agricultural inputs, production, and transportation in Russia, Ukraine and the many countries relying on their exports. Depending on the conflict’s duration, the FAO estimates an aggravated food price inflation and up to 13.1 million more hungry people worldwide.