Most people that live in the western world don’t realize that global hunger has been absolutely exploding and has now become a major worldwide issue. According to the UN, 2.4 billion people do not have enough food to eat on a consistent basis, and 900 million of them are facing severe food insecurity. Unfortunately, things are about to get a whole lot worse. The deal between Russia and Ukraine that had allowed so much grain to be shipped through the Black Sea has completely broken down, and now both sides are threatening to attack any transport ships that come through the area.
When the war between Russia and Ukraine began, wheat prices quickly soared to the highest level that we have ever seen.
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But then a miracle happened. A deal that was agreed to in July 2022 allowed vast amounts of grain to be safely transported through the Black Sea.
Since it was implemented, nearly 34 million tons of grain has been shipped out to the rest of the world.
But now the deal is over. On July 17th, the Russians announced that they were pulling out, and then on Thursday they warned that any ships sailing to Ukrainian ports “will be regarded as potential carriers of military cargo”…
On Thursday, Moscow’s defense ministry declared that “all vessels sailing in the waters of the Black Sea to Ukrainian ports will be regarded as potential carriers of military cargo,” a warning that has sent wheat prices rising.
“Accordingly, the countries of such vessels will be considered to be involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side Kyiv, the defense ministry said in a Wednesday statement. It added that several pockets of international water are “declared temporarily dangerous for navigation,” and vessels have been warned that there are no longer safety guarantees.
Needless to say, the Russians are not bluffing.
They mean it when they say that the shipping of Ukrainian grain is done, and they have already conducted military strikes against key port facilities in southern Ukraine…
Russian forces have launched extensive missile and drone attacks against port and grain infrastructure in southern Ukraine in recent days.
The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S.-based think tank, said Wednesday that it believes the recent attacks were likely to reaffirm Russia’s objections to the renewal of the Black Sea grain deal and hinder Kyiv’s ability to export agricultural commodities.
Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday that recent attacks on Ukraine’s southern port of Odesa and other cities had destroyed 60,000 tons of grain as well as crucial infrastructure.
Ukraine is one of the most important breadbaskets on the entire planet, and normally the Ukrainians export grain to dozens of different nations.
On the other side, the Ukrainians have decided to make similar threats. From now on, any ships that are heading for ports controlled by Russia will be fair game…
Ukraine, however, went on to issue its own measures in response to Moscow’s initial escalation. Kyiv’s defense ministry said that beginning on Friday, any vessels heading to ports in mainland Russia and in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine — like in Crimea or along the Sea of Azov — may likewise be viewed as transporters of military cargo.
Russia normally accounts for more than 20 percent of all global wheat exports.
So this is really bad news.
Exports from both Russia and Ukraine will be substantially reduced from this point forward, and wheat prices are already soaring…
Global inflation is finally coming down, but heightened geopolitical tensions could mean that food is about to get a lot more expensive.
Wheat futures soared by nearly 9% on Wednesday and are on track to hit their highest level in three weeks as tensions in Europe rise following Russia’s surprise decision to pull out of a crucial deal allowing the export of grain from Ukraine.
Corn futures were also nearly 2% higher on Tuesday as traders feared an impending supply crunch of the staple foods.
The last time grain prices spiked like this, it was just a temporary phenomenon because the grain deal of July 2022 was the miracle that the world desperately needed.
But there isn’t going to be a miracle this time around.
So I would very much encourage you to stock up on storable wheat while prices are still relatively low.
Right now, global food production is being hit by one disaster after another.
In California, some of the most important farmland in the entire state is now underwater because Tulare Lake has filled back up for the first time in 40 years…
Tulare Lake, which refilled for the first time in 40 years after atmospheric river storms pummeled California with snow and rain, is now receding, but it will take at least a year to evaporate entirely, experts said.
“We are still going to have a Tulare Lake next year,” said Jeffrey Mount, a senior fellow at the Water Policy Center of the Public Policy Institute of California.
The sudden reappearance of the lake, which was drained for farmland in the late 1800s, has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in agricultural losses and will require a substantial cleanup effort once the water has gone, as flooded farm buildings, vehicles, homes and electrical infrastructure still lurk within its waters.
California is the most important agricultural state in the entire country.
They grow more of our fruits and nuts than anyone else by a very wide margin, but now all of the flooding that has occurred is going to hamper production for quite some time to come.
You may have noticed that I write about this new global food crisis quite a bit. Most people don’t realize this yet, but it is going to become such a huge story in the years ahead.\ No matter what decisions our leaders make now, there will be global famine.
There are multiple long-term trends that are going to make it increasingly difficult to produce enough food, and meanwhile global demand for food just continues to increase. Our leaders know this, and they will even talk about these things when they gather for conferences, but they don’t want to alarm the general public.
We are transitioning from an era of plenty to an era of great suffering, but most people in the general population still have absolutely no idea what is coming.
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Article cross-posted from End of the American Dream.