EXPLAINER: What Russia’s suspension of grain deal could mean (Associated Press)

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The Associated Press analyzes the consequences of Russia’s move to suspend its part of the grain initiative, a rare example of UN-brokered cooperation between Ukraine and Russia since Russia’s invasion in February. The deal has allowed more than 9 million tons of grain in 397 ships to safely leave Ukrainian ports. The grain agreement has brought down global food prices by about 15% from their peak in March. Moscow announced the deal suspension on Saturday following alleged attacks against its Black Sea fleet by Ukrainian drones.

Following Russia’s announcement, wheat futures prices jumped more than 5% on Monday in Chicago. With global markets tight, poorer countries will have to pay more to import grain, said Joseph Glauber, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington.

Glauber believes new ships won’t take the risk to sail without Russia’s safety assurances. For “insurance companies and others who are insuring these boats … rates are going to go up and likely be prohibitive.” Developing nations will have to find new suppliers and pay more from countries such as the U.S., Argentina, and Australia, where dry conditions or rain are posing problems of their own.

In poorer North African and Middle Eastern countries where bread is a critical part of people’s diets, there may not be alternatives like rice in Asia or sorghum elsewhere in Africa, Glauber said. That raises the specter of turmoil in places where bread prices fueled the Arab Spring uprisings.

This report was cited by several major and local media outlets including Voice of America, Yahoo (USA), US News & World Report, Toronto City News (Canada), Spectrum News 1 (USA),.ABC 17 News (USA), The Patriot Detroit (USA), and WBAL Radio (USA).

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