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Black swan in the Black Sea series

Jon Reinfurt Graphic of a black swan in front of map of Black Sea region
Ukraine conflict fuels volatility — and once-in-a-lifetime pricing opportunities for U.S. farmers.

Commodity markets have largely recovered from the initial shock of Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine in late February. But the rampant price volatility left in the war’s wake will continue to batter commodity markets, creating what could be once-in-a-lifetime pricing opportunities for grain farmers.

Volatile prices, scarce grain and input supply uncertainty will persist in the short term as new trade partnerships are forged to navigate global markets. What can farmers expect from these markets going forward? And more importantly, when will they cool off?

No one knows the answer, which is why markets remain in a heightened state. The war has put a spotlight on the importance of the Black Sea market for grain, oilseed and fertilizer to global ag trade and food production. So with the invasion and Western sanctions against Russian financial institutions, it was inevitable that market players would adapt to a new playing field.

Over the next few days, we will kick off a four-part series of reports about the impacts of the Ukrainian war on U.S. grain markets and potential implications to watch as this year’s growing season unfolds. These stories were originally written in mid-April 2022 to be published in our May/June 2022 Farm Futures magazine. This online series has now been updated to reflect current market conditions and current USDA projections.

The first article in the series will examine impacts of the Black Sea conflict on global corn markets. It will be followed by analyses of wheat trade flows not previously included in the print version as well as fertilizer market forecasts and an outlook on future trade relationships derived from the edible oils market.

We hope it provides valuable insights to your operation’s marketing plan as the growing season progresses.

Read the full series:

Black swan in the Black Sea: corn 

Black swan in the Black Sea: wheat 

Black swan in the Black Sea: fertilizer

Black swan in the Black Sea: What next?

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