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India’s Ample Rice Reserves Mean No Need to Panic Yet


Sep 2022

By Agnieszka de Sousa 2 September 2022

From Canada’s bumper wheat crop to new trade routes for US nut exporters, and more on the rice outlook, here’s a snapshot of recent key food stories from around the world:

Rice Watch  

Billions of people depend on rice for their daily sustenance so when the news comes that top shipper India is mulling export curbs, one should pay attention. Rice is what’s been standing between us and a full-blown food crisis, as Bloomberg Opinion’s Javier Blas wrote earlier this year, and as worries over the state of grains supplies don’t go away, the premise is still largely valid. An impact from India’s restrictions won’t be as severe because broken rice shipments that the nation may cut make up less than 20% of its rice exports.

The choice of grain suggests the country is trying to address its domestic inflation without causing a global panic. Supplies are ample too. The Indian government’s grain reserves should allow for another year of record shipments, an analysis by Bloomberg Economics shows. Still, rather than restricting overseas sales, the country should focus on improving irrigation and crop yields, Bloomberg Opinion’s Mihir Sharma says. 



Global food prices eased for a fifth month in August thanks to a seasonal uptick in supplies and signs of weaker demand, a United Nations’ price index showed today. Farmers in the northern hemisphere are just harvesting wheat, with Russia and Canada hav ing a good growing season. Still, it may take a while before consumers squeezed by inflation feel any impact. When it comes to supplies, Canada’s bumper crop may be difficult to ship because of snags in the country’s railway system. 

On the subject of logjams, California’s $1 billion walnut industry is facing a massive backlog as it gears up for its busiest shipping season. Supply-chain bottlenecks, including a massive container ship congestion at California’s Port of Oakland, have cut into both foreign and domestic shipments and cost the state’s producers an estimated $1.3 billion in lost wholesale value this year alone. Fed up with delays at the port, nut exporters are looking to the East Coast for alterna tive trade routes. 


Japan's changing diet has made it increasingly reliant on imported food

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

For decades, Japanese consumers have been eating less rice and fish in favor of more bread, meat and edible oil, and the country boasts the third-largest number of McDonald’s outlets after the US and China. But that’s led the country’s calorie-based food self-sufficiency ratio to slump to 37% in 2020 from 73% in 1965 — the lowest among major economies. Now, with tensions rising over the Taiwan Strait, shriveling rice paddies are seen as a food security threat and calls are growing to address it. 




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