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World's largest wheat exporters in 2020 (in million tons) and contracted future wheat exports of India Statista

As oil and gas prices are surging amid the Russian escalation in the Ukraine, consumers around the world are going to see the immediate effects of the crisis at the gas pump or in their next utility bill.

It doesn‘t stop there, however, as other commodity prices are also set to rise given Russia‘s role as a „commodity superstore“ in the world market, as analysts at RBC Capital Markets fittingly put it. Aside from oil, gas and several precious metals, Russia is also a major producer of wheat. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia produced 86 million tonnes of the popular grain in 2020, trailing only China and India.

The latter two have not been major exporters of wheat, however, but according to Reuters, this will change at least in India in the light of the recent events. The country has signed contracts to export seven million tons of the grain this year. In the export landscape according to the latest available FAO figures, that would make India the world's ninth-biggest exporter of wheat. However, it remains to be seen how other countries will adjust their exports of the grain due to the crisis.

China and India have in the past consumed the lion’s share of their production domestically, making Russia the biggest exporter of wheat by a significant margin. Both Russia and Ukraine were among the top 5 wheat exporters in 2020, fueling fears that the crisis could exacerbate inflation pressure in the food aisle. Rising wholesale wheat prices because of the crisis already left their mark on the Global Food Price Index, which reached a new record high in February.

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