In the wake of a war
The war in Ukraine has delivered a shock to global energy markets with the planet facing a deeper crisis: a shortage of food. Prices for food, fertilizer, oil, gas, and even metals like aluminum, nickel, and palladium are all rising fast, and experts expect worse as the effects cascade. While a crucial portion of the world’s wheat, corn, and barley is trapped in Russia and Ukraine, the Ukrainian government has already warned that the country’s planting and harvest have already been severely disrupted by the war. European fertilizer plants are significantly cutting production because of high energy prices and farmers are cutting back on fertilizer, threatening the size of the next harvests. With that not being enough, the ICS has warned that the supply chain disruptions are set to be worsened by a shortfall in shipping crew due to the war. The ongoing war has the shipping industry bracing for new shocks to its labor force which relies on experienced crew from both countries. Ukrainian and Russian seafarers account for 15% of the global shipping workforce. To maintain this unfettered trade, seafarers must be able to join and disembark ships (crew change) freely across the world. However, flights have been canceled to and from the region, making this increasingly difficult. Several crew members have already abandoned their ships due to security worries and others to reunite with their families or fight for their country.