The Effect of Pandemic Food Protectionism On Global Wheat Trade Partnerships: A Case Study

The Effect of Pandemic Food Protectionism On Global Wheat Trade Partnerships: A Case Study

Author: Aileen Dosev, dosev.aileen@gmail.com

Minnetonka High School, Minnetonka, MN, USA

Advisors : Fidela Hein and Eugene Shevchuk


ABSTRACT


The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant increases in global food insecurity, affecting many low- and middle-income countries. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, global food trade has been disrupted by the enactment of trade barriers and restrictions. Like past economic crises such as the 2008 recession, nations concerned with protecting domestic food supply cut export flows to foreign markets, inciting shortages and supply chain disruptions. In these situations, the global wheat trade is often studied to predict the impact on the food economy. This paper explores how Russian wheat export restrictions during the pandemic have affected two nations dependent on Russian wheat: Georgia and Kenya. The impact of pandemic food protectionism on key agro-economic indicators is analyzed considering the countries’ level of dependence on Russian wheat exports. The economic effects of Russian wheat protectionism are found to be more severe in Georgia than in Kenya, with the former highly dependent on Russian wheat export and the latter less so. However, the pandemic has also revealed new opportunities for global wheat trade by showing how diversified trading relationships lead to greater stability for import-dependent nations. These findings contribute to a large body of economic research encouraging the growth of international trade.



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