Slovak agriculture businesses expect the war in Ukraine to have only secondary effects on their industry.
Though both Russia and Ukraine belong among the most important grain producers in the world, Slovakia is not reliant on food import from these two countries. Most Slovak import comes from the EU member states. At the same time, most Slovak export goes to EU countries.
"During this time we have not seen any drop and impact on food accessibility in Slovakia," said Jana Holéciová, spokesperson of the Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK), as quoted by the SITA newswire.
However, the war will have an impact on the prices of fuel, energy, and raw materials necessary for food production.
Secondary effects expected
Slovakia imported some bakery products and fish products from Russia, as well as spring water, vegetable oils, honey, nuts and poultry from Ukraine last year, according to the Slovak Statistics Office.
"We are reliant neither on grain crops nor oil plants grown east of Slovakia. Nor do we import fruits and vegetables in crucial amounts from both Russia and Ukraine," Holéciová explained, as quoted by SITA.
However, the war will have a secondary effect on the Slovak agro-food industry, mainly through the higher prices of goods and energy used in the production process of food, animal feed, and fertilisers, SITA reported.
The expected fears of hike in the prices of important agro-food commodities on the global markets have already been confirmed.
"Immediately, the market has reacted with higher prices of wheat, soy and corn. We expect a lot of nervousness and turbulence on the stock-market," Holéciová said, as quoted by SITA.
Food prices have already risen globally due to the shipping disruption related to the pandemic.
Among top grain
The Agriculture Ministry said in a statement that it does not expect any drop in food import from Ukraine. It added that it is monitoring the supply of important goods in retail chains.
Even in the case of drops in import, the ministry does not expect the Slovak agro-food market to be affected as a whole. However, a negative impact on individual businesses cannot be ruled out.