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China hoards grain as food prices rise

Grain production is down worldwide


 

A recent runup in food prices is frustrated by China’s tendency to hoard wheat, corn and rice, one economist warns. China’s hoarding is an “aggravating concern,” says Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics. At present, China holds 41 per cent of the world’s stockpiles of primary grains, but consumes just 21 per cent of the global supply. Weinberg explains: “This is an important enough mismatch to affect our view of the world’s supply and demand balance for these critical crops.” China’s hoarding wouldn’t be of great concern, Weinberg says, if worldwide grain production were “normal”—but floods in Australia and dry weather in other grain producing regions has squeezed supply.

Ottawa Citizen


 
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China hoards grain as food prices rise

  1. On the downside, this is the real danger of AGW to our world. Not the seas rising, not the polar bear going extinct, not even more extreme floods, droughts, and other weather events.. those all affect local areas.

    No, the real danger is simply the increasingly turbulent weather causing longer and more widespread food shortages, and the eventual wars that will break out to get them.

    On the upside… at least we know who the next target for Shock & Awe will be.

  2. They're stocks are up now but already this years winter wheat crop is in doubt. This hording might be a natural concern of their own coming needs.
    I'm not endorsing their stance but maybe they feel the need to increase their reserves. If weather patterns are in flux then why wouldn't countries pause about longer term needs.

  3. Its not as if China is importing the wheat from other countries. China is pretty much self sufficient when it comes to grains and any excess grain that they "hoard" came from their own excess domestic production over the years.

    • China has started importing grains, especially corn, in the last 2 years. For many years, up to three years ago, they were a net exporter. As the middle class grows, they are eating more meat and using more grain. They are also having severe drought issues in their wheat areas, though they are down-playng it.

  4. Part of the reason grain prices have risen is that they are now in lockstep with the price of oil. Since the advent of biofuels, demand for grains has risen for both industrial and consumer use, and as the price of oil continues to spiral upwards, the price of food will follow.

    What is particularly frightening about this scenario is the release this week of a Department of State cable showing that Saudi Arabia does not have nearly the oil reserves and production capability that had been previously thought. This alone will ultimately have a marked impact on the world's economy since Saudi Arabia will no longer be able to turn up the taps to keep the price of oil from rising.

    Here is the cable showing the issues facing the world's oil market:
    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/02/peak

    • Don't forget the action of speculators.
      In the case of corn, too much of it is used to feed cattle. It takes 6 times as much corn to have the same effect as grass. Since nearly all corn is Monsanto's artificial stuff it's good that there is less of it for humans to eat.

  5. shut them down. Give nothing to china. No grain, wheat, beef. Oranything else canada sends to them. Once again it's governments that need to be taught a lesson. Buy nothing. Give nothing. Let them produce there own food. And then we can keep the food and feed our own people with it. ANd all the food on the foods can go to the prisons and feed them.

    • Then when the Chinese start going hungry their army will start to march. You cannot withhold foodit'll make an oil war look tame. Besides the Chinese won't car about collateral damage just food in their bellies. Now if you want to sttle things down around the world, lowere oil prices and stop bio fuel. fed people are mostly happy people. Tunisia and Egypt uprisings started because of the cost of food.

    • If we keep all our food here in Canada, it would rot. We couldn't possibly eat it all.

  6. We're getting prepared for anything that may happen. Was at the store the other day and bought Kroger brand green beans for $1.06 a can. I remember not too long ago when they were .69 cents a can. Went online and found meals for .91 cents a serving, dehydrated from premium-grade fresh raw American foods. 15 year shelf life. Food that is not genetically altered, no illegal fertilizers or insecticides…, no hydrogenated oils, msgs or gmos and zero trans fats. Certified kosher and vegetarian as well. I got 6 free meals, just paid s&h. http://www.steve45.myefoods.com Food is delicious!

    • You only got 6 free meals? But it's your store?

      Man.. talk about being a cheap-skate.

      PS. Kindly don't spam.

  7. What an opportunity for Canada to become the world's food basket. But the greed of the speculators and middle men has reduced the farmer to a working slave with little income and a life of labour. No wonder they are getting out of the business. The same applies to doctors. We cannot survive without these 2 professions but their ability to become prosperous (like our bankers and CEO's) is continually hampered. We have a shortage of both right now and some wonder why.

    • Hint: The doctor shortage is not about what they're getting paid.

      There's a *lot* of qualified students ready, able, and willing to pay to get the training to become a full doctor that are prevented by the colleges of physicians.

  8. I cannot believe the lack of knowledge of people demonstrated by these comments: it's not climate change or natural catastrophes which are driving China to hoard food. Heck, if you knew what they know, along with millions around the globe, you would hoard food too. It's money printing and the inevitable collapse of the US dollar along with increasing oil prices that are raising food prices. It's the fear that the whole societal system could be crumbling apart. But even more importantly, there are food shortages around the globe right now. This shows that there is manipulation to retain food prices down…sending farmers out of business. The commodoty manipulators work for the elite capitalists who are holding the prices back to make a fortune on future exploding commodoty prices. This is not the first time in history. When will humanity wake up. World bankers are screwing us over, once again!

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