FirstFT: Russia’s exit from Ukraine grain deal is ‘catastrophic’ for poor nations

FirstFT: Russia’s exit from Ukraine grain deal is ‘catastrophic’ for poor nations

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Good morning. President Vladimir Putin’s decision to cancel the wartime deal that unblocked the passage of millions of tons of grain through southern Ukraine will lead to a new jump in price, experts warned, with “catastrophic consequences” for the poorest nations it already faces severe food shortages.

The United States called Moscow suspension on saturday of his participation in the UN-backed agreement with Kyiv, a “scandalous” action that risked fueling hunger. Moscow linked its decision to a weekend attack on ships in the port of Sevastopol, part of the territory Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, which Ukraine called a “false pretext.”

The Kremlin’s announcement surprised grain traders and analysts who, while doubting the deal would have lasted beyond the mid-November deadline, did not expect a sudden termination.

“We are going to see a substantial rise in prices” as a result, said Andrey Sizov, managing director of Black Sea grains consultancy SovEcon, adding that Russia’s move was his “worst case scenario”.

Arif Husain, chief economist at the UN World Food Programme, said “dozens of countries” would be affected by a further supply disruption from Ukraine, a leading world exporter of grains and other food products. “In the good times [this] It would be bad, but in the current state of the world, it is something that needs to be resolved as soon as possible,” he said.

1. Workers flee China’s Covid restrictions at huge iPhone factory An outbreak of coronavirus at the Foxconn plant in central China, the world’s largest iPhone factory, has caused an exodus of hundreds of workers fleeing on foot to escape the “chaos” of being locked in quarantined dormitories amid shortages of food and medical supplies.

two. More than 150 dead in crush on Halloween celebration in Seoul South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has declared a period of national mourning after at least 151 people were killed and dozens more injured after a crowd caused panic on Saturday night in the narrow streets of Itaewon, a popular nightlife district. Yoon has promised to conduct an investigation into the cause.

3. Brazilians vote after a long and bitter presidential battle At a decisive moment for the country’s political course, a tight result is expected in yesterday’s second round to decide between two polarizing politicians: right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro, the current president, and former leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

4. Germany rejects the push for new EU loans to combat the energy crisis Christian Lindner, Germany’s finance minister, rejected common EU loans as a way to tackle the bloc’s energy crisis, saying it was cheaper for individual states to raise debt on their own given the higher interest rates faced by the European Commission.

5. Sunak reconsiders attending UN climate summit Rishi Sunak, the UK prime minister, cited “pressing internal commitments” in his initial decision not to attend next month’s UN climate summit COP27 in Egypt. His election was met with a chorus of criticism.which led Sunak to open the door to a possible u-turn.

the day ahead

space launch The China National Space Administration will launch the last of the three modules that make up the Tiangong Space Station today.

military exercises Starting today, South Korea and the US will hold military exercises for the next five days.

US Supreme Court The US Supreme Court will hear from “anti-affirmative action activists” seeking to ban Howard University and the University of North Carolina from considering race in undergraduate admissions.

European summer time ended last night. Clocks in the UK turn back one hour, reverting to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) today.

what else are we reading

How Russia Secretly Takes Grain From Occupied Ukraine A Financial Times investigation into the illicit grain trade out of occupied Ukraine reveals a complex shadow operation run by private companies and arms of the Russian state itself. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, has caused global food shortages and sent grain prices skyrocketing.

‘Antics and delays’: how Musk and Twitter finally sealed the deal The purchase of the influential social media platform by the world’s richest man has been one of the most colorful and chaotic dramas in business history. The acquisition, which was hastily finalized before the October 28 deadline, attracted a cast of Wall Street powerhouses, the Silicon Valley elite and a few ‘meme explainers’.

Xi surprises investors with no ‘adults in the room’ When Chinese President Xi Jinping moved to tighten his grip on power earlier this month, analysts expected him to include at least a couple of moderates on his leadership team. The absence of even one of those figures, combined with the late release of disappointing economic data, sparked record sales of Chinese stocks by foreign investors.

Benjamin Netanyahu plans to return to power as Israel heads to the polls With tomorrow’s election on a knife edge, The former prime minister’s chances are likely to hinge on the far right.. This will be Israel’s fifth election in three and a half years of political deadlock and is widely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, a polarizing figure who has been Israel’s leader for 15 of the last 26 years.

European consumers cut discretionary spending In the latest evidence of growing strain on the region’s economy, European consumers have begun to cut costs as rising energy bills and interest rates drive up the cost of living. Consumer confidence has dropped sharply and car sales, box office receipts and hotel bookings are falling.

Line chart of Proportion of those who expect to make major purchases and those who do not (net balance) showing No time for big spending

Technology

Is it worth the upgrade? Here it is Everything you need to know about the new iPhone 14 and how to make the most of its new features.

Apple iPhone 14

© Brittany Hosea-Small/AFP/Getty Images

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