World food prices in Bulgaria and the world have reached unprecedented levels this year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a reduction in grain and chemical fertilizer exports from both countries.

According to bourgas.ru, world food prices in Bulgaria and the world have reached unprecedented levels this year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a reduction in exports of grain and chemical fertilizers from both countries. Drought, heat waves and flooding caused by climate change have reduced crops in many parts of the world, Reuters reported.

Wheat prices reached a 14-year high in March, while corn prices peaked, according to a report from the International Panel on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) released on Friday. This has made staple foods more expensive and difficult for people in many countries, especially the poorest.

Climate change, poverty and conflict now combine to create “ubiquitous and widespread” risks to global food security. This means that high food prices could become another new “normal” if politicians do not take decisive action, IPES said.

According to experts, the necessary measures include not only the fight against harmful emissions to curb climate change, but also the fight against speculation, debt relief, reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, reforming world trade and increasing national grain stocks.

If all this is ignored, the world will be “lunatic through catastrophic and systemic food crises,” experts warn.

Why such high food prices?

Russia and Ukraine provide about 30% of world wheat exports, but this flow stopped with the outbreak of war. And while national stocks consumed where they are produced remain relatively high, cutbacks in exports from the two warring countries have sparked competition for the rest of the market and raised prices, said Bridget Hugh of the US Center for Climate and Security.

Poor countries have been particularly hard hit. According to IPES, about 40% of wheat imported into Africa comes from Ukraine and Russia, and bread prices in Lebanon have already jumped by 70%.

However, export disruptions are not the only reason for the rise in prices already affecting corn, rice and soybeans as buyers look for alternatives to wheat.

Encouraged by the conflict, financial speculators rushed to invest in grain futures, which automatically and completely artificially inflated prices and created market uncertainty, G-7 finance ministers recently complained.

Since the last food crisis in 2007-2008 and 2011-2012, “governments have failed to curb excessive speculation and ensure transparency in food stocks and commodity markets,” said Jennifer Clapp of the University of Waterloo in Canada. She added that the problem requires immediate action if the world is to avoid new crises in the coming years under the pressure of climate change, conflict and other threats.

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