Speaking at a Republican leadership press conference Tuesday, US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “a true food disaster in the making” as exports of wheat, sunflower oil, and corn have stalled in both nations, potentially creating food supply issues around the world.
“You can find different numbers on this, but roughly 25% of all the wheat exports in the world come from Ukraine and Russia, about 20% of all the corn exports in the world,” Sen. Blunt said at the event. “90% of all the sunflower cooking oil comes from there, and a lot of fertilizer comes from [from] Ukraine.”
The Missouri senator detailed that operations at Ukrainian ports have been at a standstill since the invasion started and suggested that the war could have long term effects.
“This has a huge impact on the whole world, but particularly on Africa,” said Sen. Blunt. “What’s in the silos in Ukraine right now is not getting out. And Ukrainian farmers aren’t getting crops planted for this year.”
Food prices are likely to climb for consumers in the US and elsewhere because of the invasion, the politician noted.
“But the real issue here, at this moment, may not be nearly as much price as is real hunger, some occurring today,” Sen. Blunt said. “A lot more could occur just a few months from today if we don't start thinking about how we deal with this part of that crisis.”