(Last Updated on June 1, 2022 by zimdaily)
HARARE – With Russia and Ukraine exporting about a quarter of the world’s wheat, those prices too have been shooting up globally since the start of the invasion. For Zimbabwe, it is worse as it heavily relies on Eastern nations including Russia, China, Belarus and Singapore for trade and gets at least half of its wheat from Russia. But with wheat prices up nearly 15 percent in early March from 119,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($595) to 136,544 Zimbabwe dollars ($682) per metric tonne, residents have to pay more for bread.
But the war is affecting commodities beyond fuel. Its ripple effects are hitting developing nations like Zimbabwe hard as supplies of these products are disrupted both by the war and the sanctions that have since been imposed by the West on Russia and some of its allies.
The rising fuel and bread prices have in turn triggered a wave of price hikes of basic commodities around the country, worsening the situation for many Zimbabweans who are already grappling with widespread poverty amid stagnant salaries, uncontrolled inflation due to economic mismanagement and corruption by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Last week the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZimStat) announced that the country’s year-on-year inflation had shot to 131.7% up from 96.4% in April. Meanwhile, the official exchange rate, as announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Tuesday, is now US$1:ZWL$308.