Russia Ukraine War - Impacts UK Food Prices

February 26, 2022

The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine could see the cost of food in the UK rise as much by 8.2% according to industry experts.

Post covid has already seen a forecasted rise in inflation and the cost of living for brits, but top economists have warned that the war could further increase costs in the UK especially in areas such as food as the Ukraine are major exporters of wheat and corn.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics warned that if increases in oil, gas  and electricity prices are sustained, inflation could well rise up to 8.2% by April, going well beyond the previous expectation of around 7%.

Thomas Pugh, an economist at RSM UK added: “Looking beyond the immediate humanitarian impact, the effect on the UK economy will depend on what happens next and how long commodity prices remain elevated for.

The conflict which has been likened to the same severity as that of the Balkan Wars in the 90’s, has already begun impacting global markets, especially in Wheat and Grain as both Russia and Ukraine are major exporters in these commodities, accounting for upto 30% of the global export. 

Although the Uk does grow around 80% of its own wheat supplies, the impact is still felt here as price for wheat have risen from £180 two years ago to £290 per tonne! According to Alex Waugh, director of UK Flour Millers.

The conflict in theory could give Russia a holding hand over the global wheat economy, “In that case wheat could be used as a strategically important commodity,” - Carlos Mera, head of agri-commodity markets at Rabobank, who describes wheat as “the most important [food] commodity”.

All that being said, our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people affected on both sides of the conflict as regardless of the economic impact the impact on life is still far worse!

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