The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Russia has had impacts worldwide; the U.S. organic markets are no exception. The U.S. organic oilseed and grain markets are both likely to be impacted by the war in Ukraine. The most significant impact will be the risk of direct imports of oilseeds from Ukraine and Russia. Russia and Ukraine were the third and sixth largest exporters of organic soybeans in 2021, respectively. Ukraine was also the second-highest exporter of organic sunflower and canola. Other imports are also at risk as Turkey is a prominent exporter of organic oils and meals, which it produces from oilseeds that they source from elsewhere in the Black Sea region. In a market that was already going to be tight, this will make things even tighter as these oilseed imports are put at risk and continue to hold organic oilseed prices high as there are already soybean prices above $40/bushel.
While the organic grain markets are not affected as much as organic oilseeds, the war in Ukraine will still impact them. The U.S. organic wheat market should not see any impact from this as 99% of the organic wheat imports come from Canada, but the organic corn markets could see some impact. Over 60% of U.S. organic corn imports come from Turkey and the Black Sea. Turkey cracked corn imports make up a large portion of the U.S. organic corn imports, and just like with oilseeds, Turkey relies on importing corn to process, which may now be at risk. On top of the risk of the loss of imports, the organic corn market may also be affected by the increase in fertilizer prices if fertilizer's price and availability impact U.S. yields. While it is impossible to know the full effects this conflict will continue to have on the U.S. organic markets, these will be the most critical factors to watch as the year progresses.