Rice crisis : “The world eats more than it produces currently”

Bangkok Post has a good editorial : Hungry for oil, starving for food.

Some quotes :

The world eats more than it produces currently, and over the last five or six years that is reflected in the decline in stocks and storage levels. That cannot go on, and exhaustion of stocks will be reached soon”, said the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The biofuel expansions alone could push maize prices up over two-thirds by 2020 and increase oilseed costs by nearly half, with subsidies for the industry effectively constituting a tax on the poor.

Global cereal stocks, a key buffer used to fight famine around the world, have sunk to their lowest level since the 1980s due to reduced plantings and poor weather, said the institute’s director-general Joachim von Braun.

Countries such as Mexico and Haiti have already experienced food riots over soaring prices, said von Braun.

Now, you should have a look on the last Crop Prospects and Food Situation, study from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

I copy here some very interesting charts, from the FAO’s report.

Ratio of world cereal ending stocks in any given season to world cereal utilization in the following season. Utilization in 2008/09 is a trend value based on extrapolation from the 1997/98-2006/07 period.


What’s the link with Thailand ? Well, as the world biggest rice exporter, Thailand has a key role to play. And will face some consequences. Read my other articles about the rice crisis (here, here and there)

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