The world’s food supply is reportedly at risk, with skyrocketing fertilizer prices, disrupted trade patterns due to the Ukraine war, and even the hoarding of commodities by some countries named as root causes. Everything’s at fault but the Biden Administration’s policies.
The end result is that food prices around the globe have shot to near-record highs, as inflation not seen in 40 years eats at our pocketbooks. Bloomberg reports:
“We’ve got the breadbasket of the world being turned into bread lines,” David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, said at a briefing. The war in Ukraine “is going to devastate the food security situation around the world.”
Ukraine is a major supplier of fertilizer worldwide, and with the country at war, exports have slowed to a trickle, Bloomberg says. Axios meanwhile reports prices for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) were up 125 percent in January from a year ago, and rose another 17 percent from the beginning of the year to March.
There are other causes behind the price explosion however, as the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) explains:
On the supply side, the most important factor has been the sharp increase in the price of natural gas, used as both feedstock and energy source in the production of ammonia (a base material for N fertilizers) and which accounts for 70%-80% of ammonia production costs…
Similarly, rising prices of coal in China, the main feedstock for ammonia production there, along with a phasing out of inefficient production capacity, have also led to reduced production, contributing to rising global fertilizer prices as well…
The Ukraine conflict, the economic sanctions it triggered, and disruptions in the Black Sea trading routes have all further increased trade costs and uncertainty about Russian and Belarus exports—a particular problem for the international fertilizer trade.
Meanwhile, as our own Kira Davis reported, the United States is experiencing a dangerous baby formula shortage. The reasons are simple, she explained: “The scarcity is a combination of supply chain issues and recalls.”
This is my local Target, which is more stocked with formula than most other stores. This is a problem. Where is @POTUS on this? @PressSec any comments? pic.twitter.com/Qdn55wiRP9
— Kira (@RealKiraDavis) May 5, 2022
At retailers across the U.S., 40% of the top-selling baby formula products were out of stock as of the week ending April 24,a new analysis from Datasembly, which tracked baby formula stock at more than 11,000 stores, shows. National out-of-stock levels jumped nine percentage points, from 31% to 40% between April 3 and April 24. That’s up sharply from 11% in November.
The price of baby formula has gone up 18 percent over the last year, and Walgreens, CVS Health, and Target in April have put limits on purchases. Remember trying to buy toilet paper in 2020?
Even more concerning:
In six U.S. states, more than 50% of formula was out of stock as of late April. Parents in Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota are grappling with severe shortages of 50%-51%, according to Datasembly. Out-of-stock levels are even higher in Missouri (52%), Texas (53%), and Tennessee (54%). At the same time, between 40%-50% of baby formula products were out of stock in 26 states.
One more potential threat to the food supply chain: fires in food processing plants. The mainstream media’s only reporting on the subject appears to be calling anyone who mentions them conspiracy theorists, but others aren’t so sure, including this guest who appeared April 22 on “Tucker Carlson Tonight”:
The food security situation looks to get worse before it gets better, as do so many other things under this administration. Richer countries will continue to see higher food prices, while poorer ones could see malnutrition and even starvation. Best bet: start growing some vegetables in your backyard, and see if you can get a cow or two for good measure.
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