Food Crisis – the sequel

22 Oct

Without water, crops cannot grow and the world cannot eat. And this year, there hasn’t been enough of it.

The US has seen its worst drought in more than 50 years, vast swathes of Russia have been left parched by lack of rain, India has had a dry monsoon, while rainfall in South America early in the year fell well below expectations.

As a direct result, harvests of many crops have been decimated, forcing the price of some cereals back up towards levels last seen four years ago, a time when high prices sparked riots in 12 countries across the world and forced the United Nations to call a food price crisis summit.

The lack of rain this year has raised fears we are rapidly heading for another price crunch.

The focus has been on US corn production, which has been all but wiped out in many regions. In fact, US corn inventories are running at just 6% of annual consumption, well below the 25% that is generally considered an appropriate buffer.

Soya-bean production is also well down, while grain production in Asia has been hammered, with yields in some countries down by more than 50%.

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