Prices of oil, gasoline, fertilizer and agricultural products shot up earlier this year when Western nations imposed sanctions on Russia. Wheat and sunflower oil costs were also hit hard because Ukraine is a major exporter. “This isn’t just an inflation concern. There are also geopolitical concerns that result from this.”

U.S. consumer price index figures for June show that the price of chicken and flour are each up close to 20% from a year earlier and margarine has jumped 34%. “We talk a lot about gasoline prices because that’s what affects Americans, but the bigger issue is food,” Fink said.

Lower crude-oil prices have started to feed through to the price at the pump for motorists. Consumer-goods companies are continuing to see high input costs. Any drop in fertilizer prices is likely to come too late to boost this year’s food harvests. World Bank forecast after the invasion that global food prices would rise 20% this year.

U.S. Treasury secretary urges G-20 nations to halt stockpiling and export restrictions on food. Fertilizer prices there have risen 300%, and the continent is facing a shortage of 2 million metric tons. Bill Gates, the philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder, flagged similar concerns this week.
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