Blog Category

Market Structure

Impacts of Red Sea shipping disruptions on global food security


The recent attacks of Yemen-based Houthi rebels on ships in the Red Sea have paralyzed shipping through the Suez Canal, forcing exporters in the Black Sea region and elsewhere to consider alternative—and more costly—shipping routes. In early January, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world's second-largest container ship company, announced it would suspend shipments through the Red Sea. Trade volumes in the Suez Canal are down an estimated 40% since the attacks began.

Report launch: The key role of trade in strengthening food security in Latin America and the Caribbean

Dec 28th, 2023 • by Brian McNamara

Recent events such as the war in Ukraine and the El Niño weather cycle have demonstrated how shocks triggering changes in production and distribution of food in one country or region can reverberate around the world, eroding food security for millions if not billions. Efficient, agile, and diverse trade networks can help countries and suppliers to cope with these shocks and strengthen food security. These networks are especially relevant for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Déjà vu all over again: Global sugar markets roiled by El Niño, biofuels and trade policies

Nov 28th, 2023 • by Joseph Glauber and Abdullah Mamun

As with other commodity markets such as rice, the global sugar market has seen large increases in prices due to El Niño-related production shortfalls in major exporting countries in South and Southeast Asia. At the same time, other factors are also constricting supplies. Port bottlenecks have tied up exports in Brazil, the world's largest sugar exporter, despite a large increase in production over last year's levels. Domestic biofuel policies in key exporting countries are diverting sugar production to biofuel production and thus limiting exports.