According to Ihsmarkit/S&P Global:
The largest importers of Ukrainian wheat in 2021 were Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey and Yemen…
Top receivers of sunflower oil from Ukraine are India, China (mainland), Netherlands, Spain and Italy…
Most of the Ukrainian exports is being carried out through ports on the Black and Azov Seas-Odessa, Pivdeny, Chornomorsk, Kherson, Mariupol and Berdyansk…
Head of Ukraine’s Maritime Administration confirmed on February 28 that Ukrainian ports will remain closed until Russia’s invasion ends.
With NATO countries shaking in their collective boots for fear of World War III, and with many countries dependent upon Russia for oil or gas, Putin may believe that his brutal war against Ukraine gives him ample leverage and control over circumstances to “win” the Ukrainian territory and ports that he covets.
However, Putin’s war against Ukraine is also a food supply war against all of Ukraine’s food export customers, some of whom are also Russia’s food export customers.
It’s past time that NATO and the governments of food-importing nations learned to “work together” for strategic and tactical leverage against Putin to demand collective rights to seize all of Russia’s farm exports in retaliation for its interference with their Ukrainian contracts. Disrupted Ukrainian customers should demand that Russia step up and provide substitute foodstuffs on a one-for-one basis for Ukrainian supplies lost due to Russia’s actions - demanding that Russia do so at the same price and on the same delivery schedule that Ukraine negotiated prior to Russia’s invasion.
Putin is PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 1 to Ukraine’s food customer countries (and Russia’s, too) because he threatens each government with unrest and overthrow by interrupting their food supplies. Many of these countries are authoritarian regimes - with leaders who ought to be desperate to force Russia to stop destroying Ukraine’s food exporting capacity.
A desperate alliance of famine-susceptible countries’ leaders can claim special motivation to strike out against Putin as an interloper in their food supplies. They can plan coordinated piracy, sabotage, territorial incursion, or ballistic threats directly against Russia’s own port facilities in a desperate attempt to bring down Putin as a threat to themselves.
Desperate times beget desperate measures. Vladimir Putin is a fool. Turkey, Indonesia, and Egypt together might be capable of turning collectively against Putin’s disruption of their food supplies - not to mention India and China if they figure out that Putin’s actions can stir up food or energy price-related unrest.
Russia’s destruction of the export handling capacity from Mariupol alone has ensured that many hordes of human beings will go hungry. Hungry people in need of food can be more dangerous even than those in need of fuel.
Putin ought to be more vulnerable to the ill effects of his destruction of Ukraine’s food exports than he is empowered by his control over fuel. It’s past time for food importers to seek reparations directly from Russia - and a right to collect foodstuffs from Russia in kind, by interception and seizure, if Putin doesn’t back off from his war on their Ukrainian-sourced food supplies.
Putin’s destruction of Mariupol has already created his own debt to all of Ukraine’s food customers whose supplies were to be sourced through that pulverized export city.