LONDON, ENGLAND — The Food Assistance Committee (FAC) during a meeting on Sept. 30 discussed the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global grain markets.

“All members present except one overwhelmingly expressed concern about the direct effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global food security,” the FAC said. “These are exacerbating a situation that was already dire, taking hunger to unprecedented levels and affecting, in particular, the most vulnerable countries and populations.”

The session, held in a hybrid format, included representatives from Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Luxembourg, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

The majority of committee members condemned Russia’s attempts to blame other countries for the current food crisis.

The International Grains Council (IGC) Secretariat updated the FAC on the latest developments in grains and oilseeds markets, which included the impact of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the resumption of seaborne shipments from Ukraine. In addition, the Secretariat also provided an update on 2022-23 crop prospects and highlighted some key drivers of demand, as well as developments in freight and currency markets. Furthermore, the Secretariat highlighted some potential risk factors, including restrictive export polices, the ENSO weather system developments and elevated fertilizer prices.

The FAC voiced strong support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which already has moved more than 5 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds from Ukrainian ports to world markets and highlighted that this essential initiative should continue without interruption.

“In response to the global food crisis, FAC members are standing firmly by countries in need, stepping-up their humanitarian food assistance, multiplying advocacy efforts and taking measures to stabilize markets and prices,” the FAC said.

The FAC reviewed the global situation regarding hunger, malnutrition and current food emergencies against the backdrop of recent developments, including the supply and demand outlook for global grains, rice and oilseeds markets.

In its most recent grain market report, the IGC forecast total world grains ending stocks will fall to an eight-year low in 2022-23, despite production being the second highest on record.