Ukraine war to cause biggest price shock in 50 years
The war in Ukraine is set to cause the "largest commodity shock" since the 1970s, the World Bank has warned.
In a new forecast, it said disruption caused by the conflict would contribute to huge price rises for goods ranging from natural gas to wheat and cotton.
Energy prices are set to increase more than 50%, pushing up bills for households and businesses, the World Bank says.
The biggest rise will be in the price of natural gas in Europe, which is set to more than double in cost. Prices are forecast to fall next year and in 2024, but even then will remain 15% higher than they were last year.
The World Bank said this means that from the lows of April 2020 until the highs of March this year we have seen "the largest 23-month increase in energy prices since the 1973 oil price hike", when tensions in the Middle East sent prices soaring.
Russia currently provides 40% of the EU's gas and 27% of its oil, but European governments are moving to wean their countries off of supplies from Russia. That has helped push up global prices by creating more demand for supplies from elsewhere.
The World Bank commodity outlook also warned many foods are set to see steep rises in their costs. The UN food prices index already shows they are at their highest since records began 60 years ago.
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