Zimbabwe which relies on Russia for at least 50% of its imported wheat is reportedly beginning to feel the impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine as the Southern African country’s wheat reserves are running dry.
Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022 citing human rights abuses in that country and since then, trade across the world tumbled.
Wheat from Russia and Ukraine constitutes 40% of the world’s wheat production.
The Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) confirmed the looming crisis this week, saying the country was reliant on the eastern European country that is now fully focused on its attack on Ukraine. GMAZ chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara said:
“In Zimbabwe, Russian wheat accounts for 50% of our imports and we use it mainly for production of bread flour and self-raising flour.
The world supply situation is expected to worsen in the next weeks as market speculators dig in. The Russian-Ukraine war is unsettling the world wheat supply matrix and increase in wheat prices are now being felt in Beijing, Egypt, Italy and the entire African countries.
It’s heavily anticipated that Nato countries, 70% of them are wheat producers and exporters, are going to escalate the war and consequently reduce drastically their wheat exporters, as they will be prioritising their national grain cover.
Musarara said the imported wheat in the country was currently 30 per cent and the prices of the commodity have started to surge, and are expected to worsen.
Bread producers said hardly a week into the Russia-Ukraine war, wheat prices have already surged to record levels, with traders panicking as traders fear exports from Ukraine could slow down or stop completely, as Russian troops swoop on the country’s ports.
Exports are being disrupted in Russia, as several companies are stopping business with President Vladimir Putin’s administration.
Zimbabwe’s Agriculture sector, which is currently recovering, used to be the backbone of the country’s economy. Zimbabwe would export Agriculture produce as far as America and Europe.
The Agriculture sector collapsed at the turn of the millennium when Zimbabwe embarked on a chaotic land reform programme that coincided with climate change.