U.S. media: Rare drought threatens northern hemisphere grain harvests, global food prices may be further pushed up
"From California to Europe to China, drought has swept the entire northern hemisphere." The Wall Street Journal reported on the 23rd that global food production was forced to reduce, and food prices may be further pushed up, exacerbating the global food supply shortage.
A study by the University of California in the United States shows that the drought in the western United States has now reached the worst level in the region in 1,200 years. About a third of the farmland in California's most important agricultural region, the Central Valley, has not been planted this year due to water shortages, the No. 1 agricultural state in the United States. Yuma County, Arizona, is a major producing area of lettuce, vegetable seedlings and other vegetables. Local farmers expect the impact of the $3.4 billion vegetable industry will reach 10%.
Europe is also suffering a 500-year drought. USDA forecasts show that drought and water shortages in Spain, southern France, Italy and the Balkans will reduce EU corn production by 1/6 in 2022-23. 6 million tons, a drop of 11%. Market institutions believe that the weather has little impact on production as the EU's wheat, barley, and rapeseed harvests have been completed. However, corn, sugar beets, soybeans and olives, which are in the critical period of growth, are still in severe drought, and the output may continue to decline.
Parts of China are also experiencing drought. The "Wall Street Journal" reported on the 23rd that drought conditions occurred in six provincial-level administrative regions in central and southwestern China, which together accounted for 1/4 of China's total grain output last year.
On August 21, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China held a meeting and said that high temperature and drought have become the biggest threat to the bumper harvest of autumn grains in southern China. The meeting believed that the current drought situation is still developing, and the high temperature and heat damage and drought have met, causing the middle rice and summer corn in some southern regions to be severely affected, and the disaster relief situation is grim. The meeting proposed that targeted disaster relief measures should be adopted for different crops in different regions, try their best to reduce losses, and resolutely win the battle to defend the autumn grain harvest.
Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the Institute of Rural Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in an interview with a reporter from the Global Times on the 23rd that the drought sweeping the northern hemisphere may result in a reduction in or even no harvest of local grains in the northern hemisphere, but the overall impact is controllable. Li Guoxiang explained that, stimulated by the sharp rise in food prices at the beginning of the year, European and American countries have expanded the area of grain planting this year. The reduction in grain production caused by this year's drought will reduce the expected increase in production brought about by the expansion of farming, but it is unlikely that the grain production will be increased last year. Further reductions have been made on the basis of production.
In addition, Li Guoxiang said that the drought has the most obvious impact on rice production in the southern provinces of China, but China's rice production has always been high, and the national inventory is sufficient; in addition, some rice irrigated areas in the south still have irrigation conditions under drought conditions. Therefore, on the whole, The impact of drought on China's grain production will be minimized to the greatest extent possible.
Global food prices have soared sharply since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and they have begun to fluctuate and fall, but they are still at a high level. Li Guoxiang told reporters that the drought in the northern hemisphere will not push up global food prices to continue to rise, but will delay the further decline of global food prices, making food prices fluctuating at a high level in the near future.