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How could the war in Ukraine impact global food supplies?

The potential impacts of reduced food outputs from Ukraine and Russia will not be felt equally everywhere. Some of the most vulnerable are countries t

The potential impacts of reduced food outputs from Ukraine and Russia will not be felt equally everywhere. Some of the most vulnerable are countries that import directly from these countries.

But it will not be contained to these direct importers. Food prices are rising, which means that all countries that are net importers of these commodities could feel significant impacts.

To identify the countries that are most vulnerable – and might need assistance in the months ahead – I have brought together country-by-country import data from these key crops. In the data explorer below you can see the global situation for a range of commodities and metrics. 

You can see which countries import the most wheat, maize, barley or sunflower oil; which countries import from Ukraine and/or Russia; and how dependent they were on imports for the domestic supply.

We can see, for example, that many countries across the Middle East and North Africa rely heavily on wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia; they supply more than two-thirds of imports in Egypt, Libya and Lebanon. For maize, the reliance on Ukraine and Russia has a larger geographical reach with countries across East Asia and Europe also importing a large share from them.

To maintain consistency between production, domestic supply and import metrics I have sourced all of the underlying data for these calculations from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. It is all based on physical units i.e. tonnes of crops.1