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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