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Wheat, corn, and sunflower oil have already hit record high prices. Here is what happens if Russia decides to weaponize them.

Energy prices are soaring to levels not seen in a decade. Media attention has rightly focused on the price that consumers are paying at the gas pump, but there has been less of a spotlight on the price of “soft” commodities such as wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, all of which hit record highs since the Russian invasion of Ukraine

These commodities are essential to human consumption from everything to bread that we eat and the food that animals such as cows, chickens, and pigs consume, and are sources of protein for many in the world.

Already reeling from a supply chain that has been wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic and runaway inflation, consumers are about to face a commodities supercycle that will see the price of essential “kitchen table” items — like a box of cereal or a loaf of bread — soar. Here is why: Russia and Ukraine are so-called “breadbasket” countries. Russia is the top exporter of wheat worldwide; it accounts for 20 percent of global supply.

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