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A Hummus Shortage Could Be On The Horizon

A hummus shortage can be on the horizon as the global supply of chickpeas is expected to drop by 20 percent this year, making it harder to access hummus and chickpea-related products in supermarkets. 

According to the Global Pulse Confederation, the data projects that weather and war have hurt the supplies of chickpeas, driving up food prices and creating problems for food manufacturers. 

Although there will be a hummus shortage, it isn’t the only chickpea-related product that will be hard to find. Chickpeas are made into hummus, flour, soups, curries, and stews. The protein-packed beans are growing in popularity in the United States, but they have been a form of protein and a staple in people’s diets in India and the Middle East. 

Farmers in the US have planted fewer chickpeas this year because of the poor weather. Government data shows that they prioritized more lucrative crops like wheat and corn. Russia, however, was exporting around 200,000 to 250,00 tons of chickpeas per year. When the war started between Russia and Ukraine in February, the supply was destroyed, causing a shortage. 

“When the Russia-Ukraine war broke out, the demand boomed. We saw strong demand from China, then it was called from customers in Pakistan and Bangladesh,” says Jeff Van, the chief executive officer of Columbia Grain International, a grain and pulse merchandiser and supplier headquartered in Portland, Oregon. 

Sanctions on Russia aimed to cut Russia’s access to the global financial system have also affected the purchase of its agricultural products. Russia typically accounts for 25 percent of international trade as a top chickpea exporter. 

Additionally, shipping delays have affected the chickpea supply in the nation and have been one of the many reasons for the rising prices. Columbia Grain International usually exports some of its chickpea supply by ocean vessel. Still, the West Coast ports are snarled up, pushing Columbia Grain to send their chickpea supply by rail to Houston, Texas, doubling the shipping cost.

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