- Both Russia AND Ukraine account for 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of global maize exports and 80% of global sunflower exports.
- In 2021, approximately 70% of Russian wheat exports went to Africa and the Middle East.
- Over 40% of Ukrainian wheat and maize exports goes to Africa and the Middle East.
- Collectively, African countries (Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya, South Africa) imported approximately $4billion worth of agricultural products from Russia in 2020 ( 90% wheat, 6% sunflower oil, 4% other).
- In 2020, Ukraine exported approximately $2.9billion worth of agricultural products to the African continent (48% wheat, 31% maize, 21% sunflower oil, barley, soybeans, other).
- Egypt alone imported over 3 million metric tons of wheat from Ukraine in 2020 (14% of its total wheat).
- Libya imports approximately 43% of its wheat from Ukraine.
- Following Russia’s announcement to invade Ukraine, international prices of wheat increased by 35%, maize by 21%, soybeans by 20%, and sunflower oil by 11%.
- A significant portion of Eastern Ukraine’s most productive agricultural land (Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts) is already occupied by Russian and Russian-supported forces.
Disruption in the Russian/Ukrainian agricultural supply chain will undoubtedly affect food security in many African countries, however, it also presents an opportunity for African farmers to boost production and fill the supply gap. Hopefully, successful trade in other commodities, coupled with smart agricultural investments going forward can see this come to fruition. For instance, the Russia-Ukraine conflict will reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies, thus providing opportunities for several African countries to meet their demand.
- Following the EU-AU summit in mid-February, Tanzania has entered talks with European energy companies to develop and supply their natural gas reserves, which is the sixth largest in Africa.
- In Senegal, 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were discovered between 2014 and 2017 – production is expected to commence later this year.
- Nigeria, together with Niger and Algeria signed an agreement on February 16th to construct the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline to increase natural gas exports to Europe.
- South Africa is the world’s second largest producer of palladium (after Russia) and will likely experience a growth in demand following the international sanctions to be placed on Russia. Palladium is used in the manufacture of automobiles and electronics.
- There will likely be an increase in demand for South Africa’s gold for the same reason.