Everything You Need To Know About Russia's 'Sugar War'

The war in Ukraine has brought on a variety of shortages. According to National Post, the conflict has impacted the wheat trade, and as a result, the world might face a food shortage. CNN reports that wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia equate to about 30% of the global supply of this staple, and the stoppage of natural gas out of Russia has snowballed into a crisis for fertilizer producers. Experts have noted that these factors could combine together and a global food crisis could be imminent.

Russia has truly started to feel the food crunch. Reuters found that sugar prices have skyrocketed in Russia, and officials have now started launching "anti-cartel" inspections. Some have started panic-buying sugar, and videos (that have not yet been verified) have popped up on social media showing elderly citizens fighting over bags of sugar. Traditionally, Russians have stockpiled this good when it looks like times will be tough, and so far, sugar sales have increased "6.5 times since the beginning of March." The country's government has since enacted a ban on its sugar exports through August 31, and officials hope that this measure will help.

A tough time for Russian shoppers

The supposed sugar shortage has gotten its fair share of media attention. Vice covered numerous alleged altercations in Russian grocery stores over sugar, and some locations have limited how much sugar shoppers can buy at once. This situation has led to physical violence amongst shoppers, and areas across all of Russia have felt a similar crunch. Firstpost states that Russian government claims the country has enough sugar and the fights over the product have come about as a result of flared emotions. Either way, some expect the emotional buying response has the potential to keep driving sugar prices up, causing even more issues.

Social media has also made this problem that much worse. According to Republic World, images of empty shelves and people taking sugar out of each other's carts have spiked tensions higher. The country's government also took aim at inflation recently by enacting a series of "currency controls" it hoped would drive down the price of this commodity. Unfortunately, the controls didn't seem to have any impact on the surge.