In addition to the human damage, the Russian invasion has destabilised the global economy, causing commodity prices to rise

Ukraine war impacts on global economic recession


Optimism about global economic growth suffers a historic low at a time when Europe is suffering one of its biggest crises in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

As fears of a possible global economic recession continue to grow, the percentage of investors expecting the economy to deteriorate is "at its highest ever"


A report by the secretariat of the World Trade Organisation published that "the war in Ukraine may lead to a decline in the expected growth of world trade by about half by 2022". Moreover, they expect the crisis to lead to a fall in GDP to between 3.1% and 3.7% this year. In this context, last October, the World Trade Organisation expected growth of 4.7% after governments began to ease restrictions stemming from the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The year 2020 has been one of the worst years for the world economy. The global economy, subject to a major global crisis, suffered multiple ravages from the major shutdown and disruption of global supplies as a drastic measure to try to control the spread of the coronavirus. 


Almost two years later, different economists agreed on a common point: economic recovery once the pandemic had stabilised and economic growth after trade had resumed. However, the current crisis over the Russian invasion has blocked the way to try to achieve this goal.

In this vein, the war in Ukraine has not only led to one of the most serious humanitarian crises but has also destabilised the global economy as commodity prices have risen sharply. In this regard, the WHO has indicated that "the Ukrainian people are feeling the brunt of the suffering and devastation, but people around the world are likely to feel the costs associated with reduced trade and production with higher food and energy prices", as well as "reduced availability of goods exported by Russia and Ukraine".


One of the main sectors affected by the Ukrainian war has been the primary sector. Since the start of the war, tons of grain have remained at anchor in Ukrainian ports, such as the port of the besieged city of Mariupol.

In addition, the report notes that "poorer countries are at high risk of war, as they tend to spend a larger share of their income on food compared to richer countries". It also notes "the significant impact" on political stability.


Although Russia and Ukraine's share of world production is not very significant, both countries are exporters of commodities, particularly those related to food and energy products. According to the World Trade Organisation, in 2019 these countries exported around 25% of the world's wheat, 15% of barley and 45% of sunflowers.

With regard to energy resources, Russia alone accounts for around 9.4% of world trade in fuels, a figure that rises to 20% of natural gas, a resource of which Europe is the largest consumer. 


The Organisation is also concerned about the disparity that may exist between European countries and countries in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, as countries in these regions are heading for a weaker recovery, in terms of exports and trade in general, in addition to food shortages themselves.