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Russia's invasion of Ukraine expected to drive food prices even higher

Sylvain Charlebois says Ukraine produces slightly less wheat than Canada every year, and exports 13 per cent of the world's corn supply
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One look at a gas pump will tell you the Russia's invasion of Ukraine is having a big impact on our pocketbooks.

But a Dalhousie University professor says the financial squeeze will go well beyond our vehicles.

Sylvain Charlebois, the director of the school's Agri-Food Analytics Lab, said Ukraine is known as Europe's breadbasket, producing slightly less wheat than Canada every year, and exporting 13 per cent of the world's corn supply.

"A bushel of wheat is now over $12 U.S., that's 55 per cent more than 15 days ago," Charlebois said. "It's just crazy."

Between reduced supply of grains and higher fuel prices, he told CityNews Halifax it won't be long before we start to see food inflation get even worse.

"It is going to impact food prices, we truck everything around Nova Scotia and across the Atlantic, so that's going to be the big factor early on," he explained.

"Midterm, for grain-based food products ... we're expecting increases in anywhere between three to six months," Charlebois added. "Later in the year, probably in the fall, livestock is going to be impacted because you need grain to feed livestock."

That means higher prices for meat, eggs and dairy.

He said those increases are going to force many Canadians to make some difficult decisions when it comes to their budgets.

"Families I think will have to sit down and think where they spend their money," he added. "The average family will spend around $14,000 on food this year, so where do you get that money?"



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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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