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Ukraine conflict to cause more supply chain problems, inflation

Baylor supply chain expert urges people not to "panic buy"
Supply Chains
Posted at 10:57 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 00:13:18-05

WACO, Texas — After nearly two years of supply chain issues, shortages and inflation are set to get even worse as the crisis in Eastern Europe continues.

This comes as the conflict causes the price of energy to skyrocket, increasing the cost to ship goods and effectively increasing prices for consumers.

Pedro Reyes, supply chain management professor at Baylor University, told 25 News that the industry expected to be hardest hit in the coming weeks is the agriculture industry.

"Our food supply is literally going to suffer the most," Reyes said. "I see less and less will be coming [from Europe] because of this crisis up there."

The cost of a barrel of oil closed above $100 for the first time since 2014 on Monday afternoon. Reyes said while sanctions placed on Russia may help shorten the crisis, but may also lead to higher prices, at least temporarily.

Reyes said the amount of energy imported from Russia is a large contributor to such problems.

"As long as we are energy-dependent on another country, we are going to continue to have this problem," Reyes said.

Other industries, like the auto industry, have already been hit hard by shortages and delays over the past two years, especially for electronics. Chris Perales, owner of Perales Brothers Auto Maintenance in Waco has seen the impacts firsthand.

"You know, we have to sympathize with the customers because they have to be without the cars for so long," Perales said of customers who have to wait for parts to come in.

Reyes said while people should be prepared for supply chain problems and inflation to worsen over the next few weeks, they should avoid "panic buying", as that will only further supply chain problems.