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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

‘More to offer’ than war: Ukrainian art on display at museum in Spain

Dozens of modern artworks removed from Kyiv to protect them from Russian strikes that have already done huge damage to Ukraine's cultural heritage will go on display at a Madrid 's Thyssen-Bornemisza museum on Tuesday.

'More to offer' than war: Ukrainian art on display at museum in Spain

The works on show at the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum of Art as part of the “In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930” exhibition include oil paintings, sketches and collages.

Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza founded “Museums for Ukraine” which is seeking to showcase Ukrainian art, using the museum which houses her late father’s collection for the exhibition.

The Madrid exhibition is one of a number of showings of Ukraine’s cultural heritage across Europe, as well as an effort to raise awareness of the threat posed to the war-torn country’s artistic legacy as fighting grinds on.

Curators say it is one of the most comprehensive surveys of Ukrainian modern art in the period between 1900 to 1930.

Many of the works have hardly been seen outside of Ukraine. The exhibition will run at the museum until April 30, and then go on show in Cologne in Germany from September 2023.

‘Vision’ of Russia’s destruction

President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video shown at a preview Monday that “this is a vision of what Russia is trying to destroy”.

After weeks of intense preparation, the pieces were loaded into two trucks in mid-November just before the Ukrainian capital came under intense missile fire.

As it headed to the Polish border the convoy avoided passing infrastructure likely to be attacked, Thyssen-Bornemisza said.

When the convoy reached the border, they found it shut because a missile had just landed in a Polish village killing two people.

Thyssen-Bornemisza said she then asked Ukraine’s ambassador to Spain for help, who in turn contacted “every politician he knew between Poland and Ukraine”.

“It took them 12 hours that night — they managed to get through,” she said.

UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, says over 200 cultural sites in Ukraine, including museums, have been damaged since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Krista Pikkat, UNESCO’s cultural and emergencies director, said in October that “cultural heritage is very often collateral damage during wars — but sometimes it’s specifically targeted”.

The Madrid exhibition is one of a number of showings of Ukraine’s cultural heritage across Europe. Photo: Oscar del Pozo

‘Talk about the war’

The exhibition follows a chronological order.

It starts with the 1910s when Ukraine was part of the Russian empire and ends in the 1930s when several artists died during purges carried out by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, said one of the show’s curators Katia Denysova.

Most of the works come from the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

Among the works on display is “Composition”, a Cubist-inspired painting by Vadym Meller and a realistic portrait of a soldier by Kostiantyn Yeleva.

“It is important for us to continue to talk about the war,” Denysova said.

“But we also want to show with this project that Ukraine has so much more to offer.”

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