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Good morning.

We start the day with a stark warning from Grant Shapps over the potential fallout from the food crisis.

The Transport Minister said the world could suffer “a lot of hunger and even famine” as a result of shortages sparked by Putin’s war in Ukraine.

He said it was “absolutely essential” that Ukraine – known as the breadbasket of Europe – could continue to export grains.

Ministers are currently considering options to intervene in the crisis, with the Times reporting that the Royal Navy could be sent to the Black Sea to protect ships carrying food supplies out of Ukraine.

Mr Shapps said he held a meeting with Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, and that different options were under consideration,

5 things to start your day 

1) Henry Kissinger warns against defeat of Russia as Western unity frays: Former US Secretary of State urges Ukraine to cede territory to Putin in order to end war

2) Cost of electric car batteries set to soar as war disrupts supply chain: Price rises will be the ‘greatest obstacle’ to more consumers going electric, International Energy Agency warns

3) Nicola Sturgeon accused of ‘manufacturing’ Scotrail crisis: Scottish government refused to discuss pay ahead of industrial action that sparked wave of timetable cuts, says union.

4) Households brace for internet blackout as wave of bankruptcies threaten: Soaring inflation pushing smaller broadband suppliers to the brink could leave homes without connectivity

5) Millions ‘marching to starvation’ as Putin unleashes global food catastrophe: UN chief attacks Russia for sparking worst humanitarian crisis since Second World War.

What happened overnight 

Hong Kong stocks opened lower on Tuesday, with the Hang Seng falling 0.4pc.

The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.2pc, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange dropped 0.6pc.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.5pc in morning trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.5pc.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Cranswick, HomeServe, RS Group (full-year results); Bytes Technology, Greencore, Shaftesbury, SSP (interims); Hill & Smith Holdings, Hilton Food (trading statement)
  • Economics: World Economic Forum (EU); services PMI (UK, US, EU), manufacturing PMI (UK, US, EU); composite PMI (US, EU); new home sales (US)

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