Countries turn to Canada as trade with Russia comes to a halt


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MOOSE JAW, Saskatchewan (CU)_The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is expected to create a shortage of food, commodities, and a range of other products, as many countries are forced to sever ties with Moscow over its aggression in the neighbouring country. Accordingly, countries which have been heavily relying on Russian exports are now looking for alternative suppliers, with most of them turning to Canada seeking replacements.

Two weeks after President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, the Agricultural Minister of Brazil visited Canada with the aim of avoiding a potential crop crisis in the country. Brazil is one of the largest agricultural producers in the world, which is why the country has been heavily reliant on potash shipped from Russia and Belarus to fertilise its crops. After both countries halted potash exports amid the Ukraine conflict, the Latin American nation turned to Canada for replacements.

Following her visit to Canada, Brazil’s Agricultural Minister Tereza Cristina said in a statement that she managed to secure an undisclosed increase in potash imports to her country from Canadian provinces. Prior to the conflict in Eastern Europe, Russia and Belarus supplied for half of Brazil’s potash needs, compared with the 36 per cent imported from Canada. “We can and must strengthen our ties and strengthen long-term partnerships, with a view to ensuring stability and profitability for all links in the production chain,” Minister Cristina said.

Canada shares similar geopolitical and climate features as Russia, and produces many of the same commodities as the transcontinental nation. Both countries are among the world’s largest producers of crude oil, potash, uranium and nickel, as well as wheat, which is also one of the major exports of Ukraine. Accordingly, a significant number of countries are turning to Canada to meet their food, energy and mineral needs.

Last week, US President Joe Biden warned that global food shortages “will be real” amid geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe. He went on to note that the US and Canada intend to increase the export of food resources to address such shortages. Meanwhile, some countries, even with sufficient domestic crops, are looking to expand their imports from Canada to build reserves as precaution against further geopolitical or climate disruptions. “The whole world is coming to Canada,” Murad Al-Katib, chief executive of AGT Food and Ingredients, which buys Canadian grains and pulse crops and ships them to 120 countries, said.


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