A Global Hummus Shortage Is Looming as Chickpea Supply Plummets

Poor weather conditions and the Russian-Ukrainian war are factors.

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Thanks to difficult weather conditions and the Russian-Ukrainian war, chickpea supply is expected to drop by 20% this year, which also means a looming hummus shortage. 

The invasion of Ukraine has naturally halted chickpea shipments out of Russia, The Guardian reports. According to Navneet Singh Chhabra, the director of a global chickpea trade and brokerage firm, Russia was considered a top exporter of the legume. In fact, the country makes up a quarter of international trade in the category. 

"Russia is exporting about 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes, minimum, a year. When the war started in February, the supply was destroyed, totally," Chief Executive of Columbia Grain International, Jeff Van Pevenage, via Reuters. "When the Russia-Ukraine war broke out, the demand boomed. We saw strong demand from China; then it was calls from customers in Pakistan and Bangladesh." 

According to the outlet, the crisis caused a massive spike in hummus prices. The cost has jumped 100% since January at British supermarkets. However, in the US, that number has only risen by 12%. 

While America is the fourth largest chickpea exporter globally, poor weather prevented spring planting while farmers prioritized wheat and corn, as they are more lucrative. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.