In April, Dmitry Polyansky, Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador claimed that "the main factor for instability and the source of the problem today is not the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, but sanctions measures imposed on our country seeking to cut off any supplies from Russia and the supply chain". But is that statement true?
The U.N. formed the Global Crisis Response group in April to address looming threats in global stability, food sources, financial issues and other elements in their sphere of concern. Not long after the first report expressed concern for some 1.7 billion people that are vulnerable to three threats that are directly related to the war on Ukraine - food pricing, fuel pricing and economic issues. Many countries depend on imported food and fuel. 36 countries import more than 50% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine.
Since the Russian invasion began, one of the ways that Russia has tried to isolate Ukraine, is to take over ports. Supplies are difficult to get to Ukraine and Ukrainians are unable to export their crops and other products. This has devastating effects on areas that are already suffering from food sourcing issues and famine. The port blockades have also effected fertilizer exports, which will effect crop yield in Ukraine as well as around the world. Roughly 20% of fertilizer exports come from Russia and Belarus. Food pricing is the highest it has been in over a decade and the report demonstrates a timeline that directly correlates that to the war in Ukraine.
The U.N. report discusses global fuel pricing, as well as the effect on stock markets and investments. Crude oil and natural gas are roughly 50% higher than what they were prior to the invasion of Ukraine. But trading in the energy sector has been volatile in markets that are already straining under the weight of a global debt crisis. The U.S. has agreed to release 180 million barrels of oil over the next 6 months to try and remediate some of this inflation.
Finally, global markets feel the effects of large scale incidents. When a high-profile war occurs, several sectors in the market can thrive or succumb to disinterest. Stocks that were booming prior to the war are suffering. Tech markets, whose products are directly related to chips and mined metals are showing at least some insecurity due to the potential tertiary involvement from China and Taiwan. Energy stocks have seen a decline. Global market volatility is high with nearly unpredictable highs and lows. The U.S. stock market has not been immune to swinging confidence in traders. Typically, when market volatility ebbs and flows, traders can look into bonded markets or other sources of income. However, Russian actions have also dissolved the safety of those alternate markets as well.
There are ways to invest in the current market and ways to protect your food sources and survive without exports but it takes planning. Sometimes, it also takes financial access that many American's do not have. You should consider preparing for supply chain disruptions.