Asia-Pacific could face higher prices of grains and meat after Russia suspended a U.N.-brokered deal that had allowed safe grain shipments out of the Black Sea. This followed an Ukrainian attack on Russia’s fleet in Sevastopol.

Meat production and consumption are key in Asia and for many Asian countries, grains such as wheat, corn, and soybeans are needed for animal feed to produce beef, pork, poultry as well as fish.

Major Black Sea exporters Russia and Ukraine account for about a third of the world’s wheat exports, 15% of the world’s corn exports and about 2.1% of the world’s soybean exports. Asian countries are particularly hit because many import from the region.

Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region should expect to pay more for meat-containing staples, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Adding that the longer the situation goes on, the higher the price will go. 97 laden vessels are awaiting departure, 15 awaiting inspection and a further 89 had applied to join the initiative.

According to the latest FAO Food Price Index update, world food prices fell for the sixth month in a row in September. Grain prices also fell, but rose in September on concerns that the Black Sea Grains Initiative would continue beyond November.

Countries likely to be hit hardest by recent Black Sea developments include Indonesia, which has recently booked shipments of Ukrainian wheat, and government agencies have recently received orders, possibly from Russia and Ukraine. This also includes Pakistan, (which purchased about 385,000 tons of wheat) Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh may also struggle.

The United Nations and other international organizations have urged Russia to reverse its decision on the grain deal.


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