Russia's invasion of Ukraine would likely cause soaring gas, grain prices: Chicago analyst

It’s not only energy prices likely to rise as a result of Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, says a Chicago market analyst.

Phil Flynn noted that Ukraine is one of the world’s largest producers of wheat, corn and barley. The threat of war has grain prices jumping.

"Here in Chicago," Flynn said, "At the CME Group, at the Board of Trade, we saw wheat futures go up 45 cents a bushel, which is a huge one-day move."

Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group, noted many consumers are already exasperated by rising prices, with inflation running hotter than at any time in four decades.

But after President Joe Biden announced Tuesday new financial sanctions on Russia, the foreign minister of Ukraine pleaded for more at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

Dmytro Kuleba, foreign minister of Ukraine, urged, "hit Russia’s economy now! And hit it hard!"

Some Congressional Republicans also urged Biden to get tougher.

"This is an invasion," declared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) Kentucky. "This should prompt an immediate implementation of the toughest possible sanctions."


Some fear moves to punish Russia economically could prompt the huge producer of oil and natural gas to retaliate by driving energy prices higher.

The price of West Texas crude oil was back above $91.5 dollars Tuesday, signaling higher prices to come at the gasoline pump. Dow Jones index stocks fell nearly one-and-a-half percent.

Despite the expense of resisting Russia’s moves into Ukraine, one local expert sees a degree of political unity that may have surprised Vladimir Putin.

William Muck, professor of political science at North Central College, said, "We're seeing both NATO and the United States on the same page. We're seeing Republicans and Democrats basically on the same page. They'll have some partisan bickering, but both are very much against Russia on this. And both are very supportive of Ukraine.

Not everyone's on the same page. In a radio interview, former President Donald Trump said Biden has "no idea what he's doing" in the Ukraine crisis. Trump said that if he were still in the White House, Putin would never have attempted to move against Ukraine. Trump praised Putin's policies as, "genius" and "very savvy."