Legume doom

Hold your hummus: Global chickpea supply could drop 20% this year

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, weather and transportation issues are threatening global supply

A plate of hummus at the Hummus Hagiva restaurant at the French Hill neighborhood in Jerusalem. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A plate of hummus at the Hummus Hagiva restaurant at the French Hill neighborhood in Jerusalem. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

JTA — Lovers of hummus and falafel beware — data shows that global supplies of chickpeas, the main ingredient for both, may drop up to 20 percent this year.

A combination of Russia’s war in Ukraine, poor weather and transportation issues is causing the shortage, which is predicted to increase prices and make cheap hummus harder to come by, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Farmers in the United States, the fourth-largest chickpea exporter in the world, planted less of the protein-packed legume this year due to less than ideal weather conditions in the spring.

Russia is also a top chickpea producer. Global sanctions have interrupted the country’s global chickpea exports, while the ongoing war has decreased the amount of chickpeas normally grown in Ukraine by about 50 tons, the head of a global chickpea trader and brokerage firm told Reuters.

Many communities around the world have depended on chickpeas, which are a staple of many Israeli dishes, as cheap sources of protein and fiber. Demand for hummus has skyrocketed in the United States over the past two decades.

According to NielsenIQ data, chickpea prices are already 17% higher than they were before the pandemic began.

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