UK reliance on Ukraine food supplies set to stunt economic growth

The Bank of England and Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted a hit to economic growth for 2022 and 2023 as the Ukraine crisis continues to impact food trade supplies.

New data from the Office of National Statistics highlighted the UK’s reliance on Ukraine’s food supplies, as the UK imported £200 million worth of food and live animals from Ukraine in 2021.

Additionally, the UK imported £140 million of vegetable oils and fats in 2021, accounting for 11.3% of all imports of this commodity.

“Fresh warning lights are blinking about the chaos unleashed on supply chains caused by the crisis in Ukraine in this latest snapshot from the ONS,” Hargreaves Landsdown senior investment and markets analyst Susannah Streeter said.

“It’s cautioned that the repercussions of the conflict aren’t yet showing up in UK trade data, but we should be prepared for significant disruptions ahead.

READ MORE:Iceland reverses palm oil ban following Ukraine war 

“With the planting season severely disrupted in Ukraine, as agricultural land turns into battlefields and farmers are sent off to fight, the squeeze on supplies from the country may only have just begun.”

Streeter added: “UK consumers may be bracing themselves for an onslaught of higher prices, but other countries who import much higher proportions of grains from Ukraine are facing an even more intense food shock and potentially an escalating debt crisis, as they struggle to feed millions amid the march higher of prices.”

“The UK economy grew at a faster pace than first thought in the final three months of 2021 despite the spread of the Omnicron variant of coronavirus, according to the Office of National Statistics.”

Although future predictions have a downward projection, economic growth accelerated in the final three months of 2021 despite the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid 19.

The ONS reported a 1.3% growth in the fourth quarter of the year, compared with the initial estimate of 1%.

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