If the energy crisis has monopolized the minds of people since the invasion of Ukraine, there is another huge crisis in the food supply (see also p. 22). It hits poorer countries harder, where food is a much larger share of household spending. What’s behind this food crisis marked by rising wheat prices (pictured)?
Part of the answer is obvious: Ukraine is usually a major exporter of agricultural products, but it is difficult to continue to play that role when Russia bombs your rail lines and blocks your ports. But this explanation is not enough. Russia has suspended most of its own grain exports, apparently to control prices on the domestic market.
The same goes for Kazakhstan, the third largest exporter in the region.