Claim: Ukraine Conflict and Climate Change Striking Chickpea Production

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Essay by Eric Worrall

What will Vegans do when their hummus goes AWOL? Bad weather and an interruption to Russian exports have apparently turned this into a climate change story.

Hummus shortages likely as climate change causes 20% drop in global chickpea supplies

By Maeve Campbell  with Reuters  •  Updated: 07/07/2022

Global supplies of chickpeas are expected to drop by 20 per cent this year, which means hummus could be harder to access in supermarkets. 

Farmers in the US – the no. 4 chickpea exporter – planted fewer chickpeas this year as poor weather bogged down spring planting and they prioritised more lucrative crops like wheat and corn, its government data shows.

Meanwhile, top buyers from South Asia and the Mediterranean are trying to scoop up dwindling US stocks as supplies shrink worldwide and as the war between Russia and Ukraine – both producers of chickpeas – exacerbates disruption to global supply chains.

Ukraine could not seed its total chickpea crop due to the war, removing 50,000 tonnes normally bound for Europe, adds Navneet Singh Chhabra, director of Shree Sheela International, a global chickpea trader and brokerage firm.

Sanctions aimed at cutting Russia’s access to the global financial system have also hampered purchases of its agricultural products, he said, as some buyers seek to avoid complications with payment. As a top chickpea exporter, Russia normally accounts for about 25 per cent of global trade, he said.

“Russia is exporting around 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes, minimum, per year. When the war started in February, the supply was destroyed, totally,” he said.

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I suspect the interruption to 30% of the world’s supply, which normally comes from Russia and Ukraine, might be a slightly more significant factor in this shortage than climate change. US growers prioritised other crops because the price of chickpeas was too low. That may change if the price spikes this year due to shortages.

Thankfully dried chickpeas at least can be stored for a long time, so if you like blending up your own hummus, an easy and thoroughly delicious alternative to store bought hummus, now might be a good time to buy some supplies.

via Watts Up With That?

July 11, 2022