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U.n. Food Agency Issues Warning On China Drought

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/business/global/09food.html?ref=business

HONG KONG — The United Nations’ food agency issued an alert on Tuesday warning that a severe drought was threatening the wheat crop in China, the world’s largest wheat producer, and resulting in shortages of drinking water for people and livestock.

China has been essentially self-sufficient in grain for decades for national security reasons. Any move by China to import large quantities of food in response to the drought could drive international prices even higher than the record levels recently reached.

“China’s grain situation is critical to the rest of the world — if they are forced to go out on the market to procure adequate supplies for their population, it could send huge shock waves through the world’s grain markets,” said Robert S. Zeigler, the director general of the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Philippines.

The state-run news media in China warned Monday that the country’s major agricultural regions were facing their worst drought in 60 years. On Tuesday the state news agency Xinhua said that Shandong Province, a cornerstone of Chinese grain production, was bracing for its worst drought in 200 years unless substantial precipitation came by the end of this month.

World wheat prices are already surging and have been widely cited as one reason for protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world. A separate United Nations report last week said global food export prices had reached record levels in January.

The impact of China’s drought on global food prices and supplies could create serious problems for less affluent countries that rely on imported food.

With $2.85 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, nearly three times the reserves of Japan, the country with the second-largest reserves, China has ample buying power to prevent any recurrence of the periodic famines that killed millions of Chinese as recently as the early 1960s.

“They can buy whatever they need to buy, and they can outbid anyone,” Mr. Zeigler said. China’s self-sufficiency in grain prevented world food prices from moving even higher when they spiked three years ago, he said.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said Tuesday that 5.16 million hectares, or 12.75 million acres, of China’s 14 million hectares of wheat fields had been affected by the drought. It said that 2.57 million people and 2.79 million head of livestock faced shortages of drinking water.

Chinese state news media are describing the drought in increasingly dire terms. “Minimal rainfall or snow this winter has crippled China’s major agricultural regions, leaving many of them parched,” Xinhua reported. “Crop production has fallen sharply, as the worst drought in six decades shows no sign of letting up.”

So China is facing a drought, Australia has massive flooding.

Luckily China has billions of toilet paper dollars to exchange for food, you might be able to outbid everyone but the money will run out and you'll be taking a huge loss as the price will have to be subsidised for it's people.

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...and speculators have already driven wheat up into a bubble before this... so wheat will soar higher... the cost of food will go up... inflation will go higher... people will go hungry... more black swan events... more riots... more anti-Us bin ladens in the muslim world...

China will have the serious problem of its own people being unable to afford to eat... potential for internal ethnic problems...

This will not end well.

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The plus side is that hopefully there will be less stuffing of gluten into virtually everything we eat... even frozen chips get a dusting of wheatflour now...

The mutant dwarf wheat - google ot - will not die.

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It's normal. China was coined the land of famine by Walter Mallory about 90 years ago.had a drought and a famine every other year of varying severity.

YOu can read the book here

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=59422003

Essentially for the past 2000 years China has had a drought and subsequent famine every other year till about 1900. It is just that the severity and areas effected these are the reasons for mass Chinese migrations for centuries. 1800s had 4 major ones.

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...and speculators have already driven wheat up into a bubble before this... so wheat will soar higher... the cost of food will go up... inflation will go higher... people will go hungry... more black swan events... more riots... more anti-Us bin ladens in the muslim world...

China will have the serious problem of its own people being unable to afford to eat... potential for internal ethnic problems...

This will not end well.

My guess is that they will throw even more money at the South North water project to finish it ahead of schedule, its cost them 100bn odd already. And with an unlimited supply of cheap and expendable labour anything is possible. Even the Soviets didn't go so far as back in the 50s they wanted to pipe the river Ob to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to irrigate the cotton fields there. (they diverted the Aral sea rivers instead)

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/business/global/09food.html?ref=business

So China is facing a drought, Australia has massive flooding.

Luckily China has billions of toilet paper dollars to exchange for food, you might be able to outbid everyone but the money will run out and you'll be taking a huge loss as the price will have to be subsidised for it's people.

i was thinking it could be a taj difficult to outbid the printer.

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http://www.nytimes.c...ml?ref=business

So China is facing a drought, Australia has massive flooding.

Luckily China has billions of toilet paper dollars to exchange for food, you might be able to outbid everyone but the money will run out and you'll be taking a huge loss as the price will have to be subsidised for it's people.

YAWN!

In 'other' news >>>

Grain stock and marketing interventions, including an increase of the State controlled grain reserves through temporary procurement of rice and maize and transportation cost subsidies to move grains from the northeast provinces, the major grain surplus region, to grain deficit provinces of the country. The above-mentioned three policy measures have effectively stabilized domestic grain prices and increased grain availability in China in recent years (see below for details).

Grain Output to Rise for Sixth Consecutive Year

The increased prices and government subsidies have encouraged farmers to plant more rice, wheat, and maize. The total grain (rice, wheat, and maize) area in 2008 reached 81.9 million hectares, 3.9 percent above the previous five-year average. The output of the three grains in 2008 reached a record of 406.7 million tonnes, 17.6 million tonnes or 4.5 percent above the previous year, marking the fifth consecutive year output increase. Higher grain production was achieved in spite of natural disasters and difficult domestic and international economic environments. Out of the total grain output in 2008, rice accounted for 132 million tonnes, with an increase of 4.8 million tonnes from the previous year, reflecting both large area and higher yields per hectare; the output of wheat was 112.5 million tonnes, some 2.6 million tonnes over that in the previous year, while maize output was 162 million tonnes, 10.2 million tonnes larger.

Overall cereal supply situation satisfactory and ratio of stocks to utilization increased significantly

The combination of grain export restriction measures and grain reserve accumulation measures brought domestic grain markets under control.

Ending stocks of rice, wheat and maize are now estimated to be much higher than in previous years. From 2004 to 2009, the ratio of ending stock to domestic utilization in China is estimated to have increased from 45 percent to 54.5 percent for rice and from 48 percent to 76 percent for wheat.

These ratios are over three times as large as those for the rest of the world, highlighting the importance the Government of China places on national food security.

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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