China May Have Beaten Coronavirus, But Now It Could Be Facing a Food Crisis

Discussion in 'Economics' started by themickey, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. themickey


    “China’s agricultural industry has collapsed.”
    by David Gilbert Apr 2 2020, 9:18pm
    China has claimed victory over the coronavirus outbreak inside its borders, but now the country faces another crisis: food shortages.

    Rumors of a food shortage have swirled on social media for weeks, in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown that stopped tens of millions of people from going to work, and a leaked government document made public on Thursday shows that government officials have also been planning for a shortfall in food supplies.

    The document, dated March 28, was drafted following a meeting of a party committee in Linxia Prefecture, a region of 2 million people in central China. The meeting was called to make special arrangements for food security.

    “The State Party Committee and the state governments and counties and cities must do everything possible to transfer and store all kinds of living materials such as grain, beef, mutton, oil and salt through various channels,” the document said, according to a report from Radio Free Asia.

    The document also calls for the “mobilization of the masses to consciously store grain and ensure that each household reserves between 3 and 6 months of grain for emergencies.”

    There is also evidence that citizens in certain parts of the country are panic buying in response to rumors around a food shortage.

    As the rumors gained traction on social media, the government denied that the country is facing any crisis.

    "Consumers have no need to worry about the shortage of food supplies and the sharp rise in prices. They don't have to concentrate on buying bulk food at home,” Wang Bin, deputy director of the Department of Consumer Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce, said Thursday.

    Beijing has also mobilized the state-run media to try to convince the world that China is not facing a food crisis.

    Wang’s comments are in stark contrast to those from the Ministry of Commerce in February, when a spokesperson admitted that China’s agriculture and food industries would be “heavily impacted” if the coronavirus crisis persisted.

    Six weeks later, parts of the country are still in lockdown and the government is even locking down new areas in an attempt to prevent a second wave of infections.

    Wang’s claim is based on the fact that China’s stocks of wheat, corn and rice in 2019 totaled more than 280 million tons, while yearly consumption on average is more than 200 million tons.

    But the three-month-long coronavirus lockdown saw China’s economy grind to a halt, and has had a huge impact on the country’s food production capabilities. Data gathered by the Qufu Normal University in February found that 60% of village officials in 1,636 counties were “pessimistic” or “very pessimistic” about the planting season.

    READ: Wuhan's crematoriums are filling thousands of urns with coronavirus remains each day

    Farmers are struggling to find feed for their livestock and fertilizer is now in short supply. Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, is also the country’s main producer of fertilizer, and factories have struggled to reopen. One estimate puts the shortfall in fertilizer production at 40%.

    Another major part of the problem for Chinese farmers is that they rely heavily on domestic migrant workers. Many workers returned home during the Lunar New Year festival at the end of January, but with public transport coming to a halt and tens of millions of people in lockdown, farmers have struggled to find enough laborers to cultivate their crops.

    China’s agricultural industry has collapsed without the free flow of labour and raw materials,” said Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at CnAgri, a consultancy in Beijing, told the Financial Times last month.
    beginner66 likes this.
  2. themickey


  3. southall


    They are boarding up shop windows in London and New York.

    When the food runs out, the lootings will start.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  4. FrankInLa


    Please don't be ridiculous. You are blaming the entire China for one individual who bought tons of equipment (that Australians did not need at the time as they laughed the whole thing off in the same way your administration did) ALL THE WHILE your president now steals already paid equipment ready for shipment to Canada, France and Germany? Quite some guts you have to twist the facts much more appears that the US is all of a sudden rearing its ugly head when trouble hits home.

    Keep your facts straight, pal

    VPhantom likes this.
  5. FrankInLa


    Lol, can you beat this? Nowhere in China have people behaved as depicted in the following clip. Pure hypocrisy

    comagnum likes this.
  6. Turveyd


    So 3K-4K from Virus and 100Mil from starvation, yep going well.

    Need to stop eating my reserves and re top them up I guess, figured going to well.

    Nobody's dying but hey why ruin the great scare :(
  7. FrankInLa


    Vix has dropped way too much. Gotta prop it back up :D

  8. S2007S


    This proves that we were never ready for anything whether a war, financial meltdown, natural disasters and now pandemics.
  9. FrankInLa


    I sadly agree. But it seems to get quickly ugly in the US. People seem to come to terms that this is not gonna go away in another 3 or 4 months...

  10. zdreg


    A minor food shortage would be good for the US and Western Europe where obesity is a major health problem.
    #10     Apr 5, 2020
    Windlesham1 and FrankInLa like this.