Ukraine War Could Pressure Global Economy

Beyond the suffering and humanitarian crisis from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the entire global economy will feel the effects of slower growth and faster inflation, said economists at the International Monetary Fund in a blog.

Effects will flow through three main channels, they said.

–One, higher prices for commodities like food and energy will push up inflation further, in turn eroding the value of incomes and weighing on demand.

–Two, neighboring economies in particular will grapple with disrupted trade, supply chains and remittances as well as a historic surge in refugee flows.

–Three, reduced business confidence and higher investor uncertainty will weigh on asset prices, tightening financial conditions and potentially spurring capital outflows from emerging markets.




Russia and Ukraine are major commodities producers, and disruptions have caused global prices to soar, especially for oil and natural gas, the economists said.  Food costs have jumped, with wheat, for which Ukraine and Russia make up 30% of global exports, reaching a record.

Beyond global spillovers, countries with direct trade, tourism and financial exposures will feel additional pressures, they said.  Economies reliant on oil imports will see wider fiscal and trade deficits and more inflation pressure, though some exporters such as those in the Middle East and Africa may benefit from higher prices.

Steeper price increases for food and fuel may spur a greater risk of unrest in some regions, from Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America to the Caucasus and Central Asia, while food insecurity is likely to increase in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Gauging these reverberations is hard, but the IMF economists already saw growth forecasts as likely to be revised down next month when the IMF plans to offer a fuller picture in its World Economic Outlook and regional assessments.

Longer term, the war may fundamentally alter the global economic and geopolitical order should energy trade shift, supply chains reconfigure, payment networks fragment and countries rethink reserve currency holdings, the economists said.  Increased geopolitical tension further raises risks of economic fragmentation, especially for trade and technology.

Unprecedented sanctions on Russia will impair financial intermediation and trade, inevitably causing a deep recession there, the economists said.  The ruble’s depreciation is fueling inflation, further diminishing living standards for the population.

Energy is the main spillover channel for Europe as Russia is a critical source of natural gas, they said.  Wider supply chain disruptions may be consequential.

Those effects will fuel inflation and slow the recovery from the pandemic, they said.  Eastern Europe will see rising financial costs and a refugee surge.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $138.80 to $139.16 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $138.08 to $140.00.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $216.54 to $218.22 per cwt, versus $216.09 to $220.18.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $0.34 per cwt at $258.50, while select was up $1.85 at $252.50.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $6.00 from $7.51 with 68 loads of fabricated product and 22 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported that basis bids for corn from feeders in the Southern Plains were up $0.05 to $0.15 at $1.35 to $1.55 a bushel over the May futures and for southwest Kansas were steady at $0.00 over May, which settled at $7.56 1/4, up $0.14 1/2.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $154.93 per cwt up $0.08.  This compares with Monday’s Mar contract settlement of $156.10 per cwt, down $0.90.