Article Image

IPFS News Link • Hungary

Food Protectionism Is Spreading as Hungary Bans Grain Exports

• Megan Durisin, Slav Okov and Zoltan Simon

Hungary is banning grain exports, its agriculture minister told television channel RTL on Friday. Argentina and Turkey also made moves this week to increase their control over local products. And Moldova, albeit a small shipper, temporarily halted exports of wheat, corn and sugar from this month.

Protectionist measures -- which already picked up in recent years as the Covid-19 pandemic sparked worries about local supplies and high prices -- could spell more bad news for global food trade. The war in Ukraine has brought crop shipments from much of the crucial Black Sea region to a halt, heightening fears of shortages of grain and sunflower oil.

Read: Wheat Mounts Historic Week as War Sparks Deepening Supply Fears

That's adding to soaring global food inflation, increasing the chance of export restrictions, said Abdolreza Abbassian, an independent analyst. Harvest setbacks have exacerbated tight supply, with global grain stockpiles expected to drop for a fifth year.