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From war to wild weather, global crop problems point to years of high food prices

The world has perhaps never seen this level of simultaneous agricultural disruption, according to agriculture executives, industry analysts, farmers and economists interviewed by Reuters, meaning it may take years to return to global food security.

"Typically when we're in a tight supply-demand environment you can rebuild it in a single growing season.

"Where we are today, and the constraints around boosting production and (war in) Ukraine ... it's two to three years before you get out of the current environment," said Jason Newton, chief economist for fertilizer producer Nutrien Ltd.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week that the world faces an unprecedented hunger crisis, with a risk of multiple famines this year and a worse situation in 2023.

Farmers may struggle to rebound from this season's challenges as costs for inputs, from fertilizers to fuel that runs farm machinery, remain elevated.

Even once the war ends, global supplies are likely to remain structurally tight, said Nutrien economist Newton.

Efforts to slow climate change are driving up demand for crops to produce biofuels instead of food and China is importing dramatically more as it runs out of new land for agriculture, he said.


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