Implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for global food markets and food policies

On 31 March 2022 from 16.00 – 17.00 hours a webinar on this theme was organised by WUR and Kyiv School of Economics (KSE). This webinar identified the major implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on international agri-food markets and food security from the Ukrainian, Dutch, EU and Middle Eastern perspectives. It advanced common expertise and Pan-European research community by linking Ukrainian economists to West-European economists and policy makers. At the start of the webinar, a series of short pitch presentations given by a broad group of stakeholders set the scene after which the discussion with the webinar audience was opened.

The Kyiv School of Economics (KSE, Ukraine), WUR, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO, Germany), and the German-Ukrainian Agricultural Policy Dialogue (APD, Ukraine) jointly organise a series of online panel discussions “Is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changing agrifood markets as we know them?” The aim of these events is to accumulate in-depth knowledge and evidence on the current threats and forecasts regarding the war’s impact on local and global agrifood markets, and provide the public with professional expertise on the issue. This will be the first webinar in this series.

Background information

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which started on February 24th this year has brought serious problems to the Ukrainian agricultural industry. In 2014, when Crimean peninsula was annexed by Russia and Russian backed conflict started in Donbas, farming operations in these regions were severely damaged. The current situation, however, puts agriculture in the entire country at risk. Airstrikes, occupation and active military battles, which, by the end of March, are happening mainly in Southern, Eastern and Northern regions are serious threats to the 2022’s sowing and harvesting campaigns. The latter is affected by inputs supply and logistics complications as well.

Over recent years, Ukraine has become a significant player on global agricultural markets. Today, it accounts for nearly 10% of world wheat exports, 15% of corn exports and more than 15% of Barley exports in world markets. When considering sunflower oil, Ukraine alone amounts to nearly 50% of world exports. Besides grains and oilseeds trade, Ukrainian agriculture plays an important role in both local and global food security.

Russia, in turn, is another large supplier of grains and oils to the world market. It makes up 18% of world wheat and 25% of world sunflower oil exports. Due to the current and potential economic sanctions imposed by Russia’s trade partners over its Ukraine invasion and war crimes, Russia itself may face the disturbances in the agro-food supply chains. In the worst-case scenario, if Russia were to occupy Ukraine and absorb its economy, it may become the major superpower in the world’s agricultural commodity markets.

In light of the above, well-known experts, representing various fields of competence and geographic regions, are going to examine and discuss the short- and longer-term implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on availability and prices of agricultural commodities, patterns of trade, agricultural input industries, national food policies and many other aspects.


Mariia Bogonos

Mariia Bogonos (PhD) is agricultural and trade policies impact analyst and coordinator of the Center for Food and Land Use Research of Kyiv School of Economics. Previously she was involved in the development of the agricultural market outlooks of Ukraine and the assessment of the F2F and BDS strategies on EU agriculture with the Joint Research Center of the European Union.

Kees Huizinga

Ir. Kees Huizinga has been farming in Ukraine for nearly 20 years. His company grew from 1.000 hectares to 15.000 hectares, 2.000 dairy cows and 350 hectares of vegetables on drip irrigation. 400 employees work on the farm. Visit his website and read the stories from Ukraine.

Oleg Nivievskyi

Dr. Oleg Nivievskyi photo2.jpg

Oleg Nivievskyi is an Assistant Professor and Vice-President for economics education at Kyiv School of Economics. Oleg has more than 18 years of international experience in applied research in agri-food product and factor markets and value chains, as well as in agri-food and regulatory policy impact. His country experience covers Germany, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ukraine.

Roel Jongeneel

Roel Jongeneel (PhD) is EU Agriculture and Food Policy Theme Ambassador and coordinator of Wageningen Economic Research's Dutch-EU market outlook activities. Previously he was involved in the market and policy impacts of Brexit and the COVID pandemic.

Jacob Waslander

Jacob Waslander is the Dutch envoy to the Middle East and North Africa for Water, Energy and Food. His office is in Amman, Jordan and he works with embassy teams across the MENA region. He has held positions in the following domains: EU, UN, World Bank, Africa private sector development, financial sector reforms and sustainability/ climate actions. Most recently, Jacob worked a senior associate with the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington DC, where he focused on innovative (climate) finance, climate adaptation, and innovative partnerships.

Stephan Hubertus Gay

Stephan Hubertus Gay is Senior Agricultural Policy Analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. He is coordinating the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook and is the principle analyst for dairy and oilseed markets. Before joining the OECD, Stephan Hubertus Gay worked in similar functions for the European Commission, the Thünen Institute and ISTA Mielke GmbH (Oilworld). He studied agricultural economics in Germany, the United Kingdom, in Wageningen and South Africa and obtained his PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa).

Rico Ihle

Rico Ihle is an associate professor at the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group of Wageningen University. He does research on the formation of agricultural markets and food prices, economic aspects of violent political conflict and the effects of public policies on food markets.