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UKRAINE

The products that are more expensive than ever in Spain due to the war in Ukraine

Supply chain problems, energy price rises and raw material costs are pushing up the price of several essential products in Spain. Here's how the war in Ukraine could impact your food shop and other daily expenses.

The products that are more expensive than ever in Spain due to the war in Ukraine
Bread prices could rise in coming weeks. Sixty-five per cent of the wheat imported to Spain comes from Ukraine. Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP

Buying basic food products like bread, milk or pasta could soon hit people’s wallets harder, as the Ukraine crisis causes disruption in supply chains and rising energy bills.

It comes after inflation in Spain accelerated in February to its fastest pace in nearly 33 years. This acceleration has already driven up the price of food, beverages, fuel and energy.

Here are the products that are likely to see a price rise in the coming weeks:

EXPLAINED: How Spain could be impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

1. Wheat products like bread and pasta

Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s top wheat exporters. When Russian forces invaded Ukraine, global chain supply was put at risk and the price of wheat jumped to its highest levels since 2012.

As much as 65 percent of the wheat imported to Spain comes from Ukraine. The price of wheat had already gone up 25 per cent in the past few months, and in the past two weeks, it has gone up by 10 percent, according to Antena 3 news.

2. Petrol

Russia is one of the biggest energy producers in the world, and oil prices have surged since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, despite measures aimed at calming markets.

Brent crude – the international benchmark for oil prices – hit $113 a barrel this week, bringing it to the highest level since June 2014.

Petrol and diesel prices had already skyrocketed in recent weeks. In early February, petrol reached a record high €1,53/litre.

It has since continued to rise to €1,60/litre, while diesel is currently at €1,49/litre.

3. Electricity

The EU is the largest importer of natural gas in the world, with the largest share coming from Russia (41 percent).

The price of gas has already gone up by 60 per cent in the past few days. In Spain, it reached historic highs at €195/MWh.

The price of electricity has gone up 16.8 per cent due to the crisis in Ukraine.

The Spanish government has said that prices are expected to continue to rise, but there is no current threat to gas supplies, as Russia is not one of the country’s main suppliers.

4. Sunflower oil

Ukraine provides Spain with a lot of sunflower oil. Around 63 percent of the sunflower imported to Spain comes from Ukraine.

This may not seem like the most essential product, but a lot of other food products contain sunflower oil.

5. Housing

The fuel price increase will have an overall impact on the price of all products and commodities, resulting in construction costs for new buildings also rising.

Every year, landlords are allowed to increase the price of rent according to inflation, which means renting could also become more expensive.

6. Meat, milk, eggs and other animal products

Russia is the world’s main producer of grain crops, above the US and Canada. Grain is used to make animal feed, so an increase in prices could indirectly affect animal products like ham, eggs and milk.

“In ten days, the price of raw materials, like wheat and corn, has gone up between 30 and 60 percent,” Jorge De Saja, director of Cesfac (Spain’s Confederation of Animal Food Producers) told Business Insider.

Practically half of all maize imports to Spain are, or were, from Ukraine.

READ ALSO: The goods in Spain that were already more expensive than ever due to inflation

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UKRAINE

Rapping, breakdancing Ukrainians win Eurovision in musical morale boost

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest Sunday with an infectious hip-hop folk melody, boosting spirits in the embattled nation fighting off a Russian invasion that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people.

Rapping, breakdancing Ukrainians win Eurovision in musical morale boost

Riding a huge wave of public support, Kalush Orchestra beat 24 competitors in the finale of the world’s biggest live music event with “Stefania”, a rap lullaby combining Ukrainian folk and modern hip-hop rhythms.

“Please help Ukraine and Mariupol! Help Azovstal right now,” implored frontman Oleh Psiuk in English from the stage after their performance was met by a cheering audience.

In the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the triumph was met with smiles and visible relief.

“It’s a small ray of happiness. It’s very important now for us,” said Iryna Vorobey, a 35-year-old businesswoman, adding that the support from Europe was “incredible”.

Following the win, Psiuk — whose bubblegum-pink bucket hat has made him instantly recognisable — thanked everyone who voted for his country in the contest, which is watched by millions of viewers.

“The victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Glory to Ukraine,” Psiuk told journalists.

Music conquers Europe

The win provided a much-needed morale boost for the embattled nation in its third month of battling much-larger Russian forces.

Mahmood & BLANCO  performing for Italy at Eurovision 2022

Mahmood & BLANCO perform on behalf of Italy during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!” he wrote on Facebook.

“This win is so very good for our mood,” Andriy Nemkovych, a 28 year-old project manager, told AFP in Kyiv.

The victory drew praise in unlikely corners, as the deputy chief of the NATO military alliance said it showed just how much public support ex-Soviet Ukraine has in fighting off Moscow.

“I would like to congratulate Ukraine for winning the Eurovision contest,” Mircea Geoana said as he arrived in Berlin for talks that will tackle the alliance’s expansion in the wake of the Kremlin’s war.

“And this is not something I’m making in a light way because we have seen yesterday the immense public support all over Europe and Australia for the bravery of” Ukraine, Geoana said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the win “a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom”.

And European Council President Charles Michel said he hoped next year’s contest “can be hosted in Kyiv in a free and united Ukraine”.

‘Ready to fight’
Despite the joyous theatrics that are a hallmark of the song contest, the war in Ukraine hung heavily over the festivities this year.
 
The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event, banned Russia on February 25, the day after Moscow invaded its neighbour.
 
“Stefania”, written by Psiuk as a tribute to his mother before the war, mixes traditional Ukrainian folk music played on flute-like instruments with an invigorating hip-hop beat. The band donned richly embroidered ethnic garb
to perform their act.
 
 
Nostalgic lyrics such as “I’ll always find my way home even if all the roads are destroyed” resonated all the more as millions of Ukrainians have been displaced by war.

Kalush Orchestra received special authorisation from Ukraine’s government to attend Eurovision, since men of fighting age are prohibited from leaving the country, but that permit expires in two days.

Psiuk said he was not sure what awaited the band as war rages back home.

“Like every Ukrainian, we are ready to fight as much as we can and go until the end.

Britain’s ‘Space Man’

Ukraine beat a host of over-the-top acts at the kitschy, quirky annual musical event, including Norway’s Subwoolfer, who sang about bananas while dressed in yellow wolf masks, and Serbia’s Konstrakta, who questioned national healthcare while meticulously scrubbing her hands onstage.

Coming in second place was Britain with Sam Ryder’s “Space Man” and its stratospheric notes, followed by Spain with the reggaeton “SloMo” from Chanel.

After a quarter-century of being shut out from the top spot, Britain had hoped to have a winner in “Space Man” and its high notes belted by the affable, long-haired Ryder.

Britain had been ahead after votes were counted from the national juries, but a jaw-dropping 439 points awarded to Ukraine from the public pushed it to the top spot.

Eurovision’s winner is chosen by a cast of music industry professionals — and members of the public — from each country, with votes for one’s home nation not allowed.

Eurovision is a hit among fans not only for the music, but for the looks on display and this year was no exception. Lithuania’s Monika Liu generated as much social media buzz for her bowl cut hairdo as her sensual and elegant
“Sentimentai”.

Other offerings included Greece’s “Die Together” by Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord and “Brividi” (Shivers), a duet from Italy’s Mahmood and Blanco.

Italy had hoped the gay-themed love song would bring it a second consecutive Eurovision win after last year’s “Zitti e Buoni” (Shut up and Behave) from high-octane glam rockers Maneskin.

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