Ukraine Ripple Effect

Written by Tyler Kastelberg

February 27, 2022

Happy Sunday!

In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I’m going to use this newsletter a bit differently. We’ll be back to our “regularly scheduled program” next week. 

Firstly, my heart goes out to the nation and people of Ukraine. In 2022, there is no place for an unprovoked ground invasion of a soverign nation. Bullpen’s first engineering team was from Ukraine. They are smart, driven, hard-working, and believe in western democracy. It’s hard to imagine that my old teammates are now in bomb shelters. 

Richard Branson is one of my favorite entrepreneurs and thought leaders. He’s written a series of articles calling for the end of the invasion of Ukraine, citing various prior agreements that have been violated and the impact of Russian sanctions. I found them very informative and linked them below.

Feb 18 – Defending the rule of law

Feb 24 – My thoughts on war in Ukraine

Feb 26 – My thoughts on Ukraine and Russia

Interesting food fact … Russia and Ukraine combined account for one-third of global wheat exports, one-fifth of the corn trade, and 80% of sunflower oil production (source: USDA).  

Africa is bracing as the continent imported ~$7 billion in agricultural products from Russia and Ukraine in 2020. Reduced wheat and corn imports could create a real problem for the continent as it already experiences wide-spread food insecurity. 

While we may not see a supply shortage in the US, wheat prices are going up. In the past week, wheat futures increased more than 16%, while corn futures increased more than 6%. 

Potentially unrelated but also interesting, my local Trader Joes has sticky notes on most of the produce, increasing pricing by about 6% across the board. 

Thanks for tuning in this week. Let me know if you found any of this interesting.

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