Looming food shortages in China?

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bostonimproper
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Looming food shortages in China?

Post by bostonimproper »

Flooding ruining rice crop, via CNN:
Surging floodwater burst the banks of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province last month, destroying thousands of acres of farmland in what's known as the "land of fish and rice." The broader Yangtze River basin — which includes Poyang Lake and stretches more than 3,900 miles from Shanghai in the east to the Tibetan border in the west — accounts for 70% of the country's rice production.
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The flooding that walloped Bao's farm and 13 million more acres of cropland — about the size of West Virginia — is the worst that that China has experienced in years. China's Ministry of Emergency Management pegs the direct economic cost of the disaster at $21 billion in destroyed farmland, roads and other property. Some 55 million people, including farmers like Bao, have been affected.
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Analysts at the Chinese brokerage firm Shenwan Hongyuan, meanwhile, recently estimated that China could lose 11.2 million tons worth of food compared to last year, given how much cropland was damaged by mid July. That would be equivalent to 5% of the rice that China produces.

The damage might be even worse, though. Nomura's analysis was based on data about flooded crop fields that the Chinese government released in July. Since then, the amount of cropland that has been damaged has roughly doubled, according to China's Ministry of Emergency Response. Damage estimates released by analysts also don't include the potential loss of wheat, corn or other crops, which could be threatened should the flooding spread.
China's "Clean Plates Campaign", via Bloomberg:
The sudden and massive push to curb the problem of discarded leftovers -- known as the “Clean Plates Campaign” -- has puzzled experts who keep a close watch on the world’s biggest consumer of everything from grains to meat. Government officials have stressed that the country’s food reserves are ample, but some observers have nevertheless questioned the timing of a campaign aimed at reducing consumption when China’s economy is still recovering from the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.
Three Gorges Dam is nearing capacity, via The Guardian:
Extreme floods have hit China’s Three Gorges dam, which recorded the largest inflow of water in its history, prompting officials to assure the public it would not be breached.

Inflows to the world’s largest hydro-electric dam reached 75m litres of water a second, according to state media. By Thursday morning, 11 outlets of the dam had been opened to discharge 49.2m litres of water a second, the largest release since its construction.
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Upstream from the dam, officials in the city of Chongqing, in Sichuan province, evacuated almost 300,000 residents before the flooding. On Thursday, levels along the Yangtze near Chongqing reached heights not seen since 1981, when the country experienced its worst floods in a century, leaving 1.5 million homeless.

In Chongqing, roads, bridges, parks and a main highway in the commercial district were flooded, affecting 260,000 people and damaging at least 20,000 businesses, according to officials.

ertyu
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Re: Looming food shortages in China?

Post by ertyu »

First, and without any concrete proof, I think the 3 gorges dam will hold. Call it my clairvoyant intuition.

Second, having lived through a period of poverty and food insecurity, I think people underestimate both how resilient the Chinese are *and* how tight a rule the gvt has over this. The richest in China are perfectly clear about the importance of continued social stability. Even if there are shortages, they will be managed. The powers that be have full knowledge of what is at stake.

The west might be alarmist about this, but even if food shortages do indeed become a problem I vote China on this one. China might have weaknesses, but the resilience of its people ain’t one.

Neither is the willingness of its rulers to play the long game.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: Looming food shortages in China?

Post by tonyedgecombe »

On the other hand hungry people become restless wherever they come from.

ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Looming food shortages in China?

Post by ertyu »

They do. But the Chinese also made it though the cultural revolution. We can make a friendly bet; I still think that even if this results in hardship, it would be managed well. You can, however, think about macro/fx trades: which commodities are the Chinese likely to import/buy and from whom? What are they going to sell to pay for them?

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TheWanderingScholar
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Re: Looming food shortages in China?

Post by TheWanderingScholar »

Another question is this:
How many people from the Cultural Revolution are still around today? How are use to the economic prosperity China recently has gained?

RealPerson
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Re: Looming food shortages in China?

Post by RealPerson »

Those Chinese used to driving Bentley's, traveling the world, sipping expensive Bordeaux wines and carrying Louis Vuitton hand bags should have no problem roughing it like in the Cultural Revolution. 👿

It is my understanding that the entire social contact in China is based on a relentless improvement in living standards. It will be interesting to see what happens when the CCP breaks their end of the bargain. I am not predicting anything, just curious how this will unfold. One thing that cannot be underestimated is the CCP's willingness to use whatever violent means necessary to maintain a hold on power.

catpepper
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Re: Looming food shortages in China?

Post by catpepper »

China probably doesn't have any problems with food as although they have their own agricultural supplies, they also import. The recently launched reduce food waste campaign is probably to be more self-reliant as Covid has shown that countries shut themselves up from others when in crisis. I live in Singapore, and our government was desperately trying to secure food sources during the start of the pandemic as we have almost non-existent domestic food supply.

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