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Countries Are Starting to Hoard Food, Threatening Global Trade

Countries Are Starting to Hoard Food, Threatening Global Trade thumbnail

It’s not just grocery shoppers who are hoarding pantry staples. Some governments are moving to secure domestic food supplies during the conoravirus pandemic.

Kazakhstan, one of the world’s biggest shippers of wheat flour, banned exports of that product along with others, including carrots, sugar and potatoes. Serbia has stopped the flow of its sunflower oil and other goods. Russia is leaving the door open to shipment bans and said it’s assessing the situation weekly.

To be perfectly clear, there have been just a handful of moves and no sure signs that much more is on the horizon. Still, what’s been happening has raised a question: Is this the start of a wave of food nationalism that will further disrupt supply chains and trade flows?

U.K. Grocers Ration Buying and Bulk Up Online to Deal With Virus

Shoppers wait on the street for the general opening of the store, during a time set aside for elderly and vulnerable members of the community to shop, at an Iceland Foods store in London on March 18.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

“We’re starting to see this happening already — and all we can see is that the lockdown is going to get worse,” said Tim Benton, research director in emerging risks at think tank Chatham House in London.

Though food supplies are ample, logistical hurdles are making it harder to get products where they need to be as the coronavirus unleashes unprecedented measures, panic buying and the threat of labor crunches.

Consumers across the globe are still loading their pantries — and the economic fallout from the virus is just starting. The specter of more trade restrictions is stirring memories of how protectionism can often end up causing more harm than good. That adage rings especially true now as the moves would be driven by anxiety and not made in response to crop failures or other supply problems.

As it is, many governments have employed extreme measures, setting curfews and limits on crowds or even on people venturing out for anything but to acquire essentials. That could spill over to food policy, said Ann Berg, an independent consultant and veteran agricultural trader who started her career at Louis Dreyfus Co. in 1974.

“You could see wartime rationing, price controls and domestic stockpiling,” she said.

Some nations are adding to their strategic reserves. China, the biggest rice grower and consumer, pledged to buy more than ever before from its domestic harvest, even though the government already holds massive stockpiles of rice and wheat, enough for one year of consumption.

Key wheat importers including Algeria and Turkey have also issued new tenders, and Morocco said a suspension on wheat-import duties would last through mid-June.

As governments take nationalistic approaches, they risk disrupting an international system that has become increasingly interconnected in recent decades.

Kazakhstan had already stopped exports of other food staples, like buckwheat and onions, before the move this week to cut off wheat-flour shipments. That latest action was a much bigger step, with the potential to affect companies around the world that rely on the supplies to make bread.

For some commodities, a handful of countries, or even fewer, make up the bulk of exportable supplies. Disruptions to those shipments would have major global ramifications. Take, for example, Russia, which has emerged as the world’s top wheat exporter and a key supplier to North Africa.

“If governments are not working collectively and cooperatively to ensure there is a global supply, if they’re just putting their nations first, you can end up in a situation where things get worse,” said Benton of Chatham House.

He warned that frenzied shopping coupled with protectionist policies could eventually lead to higher food prices — a cycle that could end up perpetuating itself.

“If you’re panic buying on the market for next year’s harvest, then prices will go up, and as prices go up, policy makers will panic more,” he said.

And higher grocery bills can have major ramifications. Bread costs have a long history of kick-starting unrest and political instability. During the food price spikes of 2011 and 2008, there were food riots in more than 30 nations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

“Without the food supply, societies just totally break,” Benton said.

Ample supplies have kept prices relatively low since the 2011 spike

Unlike previous periods of rampant food inflation, global inventories of staple crops like corn, wheat, soybeans and rice are plentiful, said Dan Kowalski, vice president of research at CoBank, a $145 billion lender to the agriculture industry, adding he doesn’t expect “dramatic” gains for prices now.

While the spikes of the last decade were initially caused by climate problems for crops, policies exacerbated the consequences. In 2010, Russia experienced a record heat wave that damaged the wheat crop. The government responded by banning exports to make sure domestic consumers had enough.

The United Nations’ measure of global food prices reached a record high by February 2011.

“Given the problem that we are facing now, it’s not the moment to put these types of policies into place,” said Maximo Torero, chief economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. “On the contrary, it’s the moment to cooperate and coordinate.”

 

Of course, the few bans in place may not last, and signs of a return to normal could prevent countries from taking drastic measures. Once consumers start to see more products on shelves, they may stop hoarding, in turn allowing governments to back off. X5 Retail, Russia’s biggest grocer, said demand for staple foods is starting to stabilize. In the U.S., major stores like Walmart Inc. have cut store hours to allow workers to restock.

In the meantime, some food prices have already started going up because of the spike in buying.

Wheat futures in Chicago, the global benchmark, have climbed more than 6% in March as consumers buy up flour. U.S. wholesale beef has shot up to the highest since 2015, and egg prices are higher.

At the same time, the U.S. dollar is surging against a host of emerging-market currencies. That reduces purchasing power for countries that ship in commodities, which are usually priced in greenbacks.

In the end, whenever there’s a disruption for whatever reason, Berg said, “it’s the least-developed countries with weak currencies that get hurt the most.”

bloomberg



87 Comments on "Countries Are Starting to Hoard Food, Threatening Global Trade"

  1. JuanP is stupid on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 2:31 pm 

    Obviously from stupid:

    BanTheDavyScum.net said BAN The DavyScum!!!!!!

    boney joe said “Psychopathic fucks like you are absolutely…

    boney joe said JuanP- PLEASE don’t give the DavyScum any en…

    Davy said The only thing moderating your lunacy Juanpee, is…

    REAL Green said We loves are widdle poodle posts. There REAL cute…

    Davy said You know whats got me triggered everyone?Covid-19…

    Davy is stupid said JuanP is stupid on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 12:37 pm Ju…

    Davy said Fake comment at 6:40 Gabrielle. JuanP never said t…

  2. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 2:37 pm 

    my head is spinning and my mind is throbbing. I want to be free as I look at the pool 5 stories below.

  3. More Davyskum sock puppetry ID theft and lunacy on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 2:57 pm 

    Davy on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 2:37 pm

  4. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 3:21 pm 

    I am going over to the moderated side where I am safe. Fuck this place!

  5. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 3:29 pm 

    Forum please note this for the last time:

    We (juanPee, JuanP, supremist muzzie jerk, Richard Guenette, Boney Joe, Truth Buster, Gaia, Kenz300,…..are spending less time on this lame unmoderated forum to concentrate on our chronic depression. We want to thank Davy for moderating us because we need it. We have saved the best of are comments for are new blog. We have years worth of sock material. We have enjoyed being moderating and neutering because our agendas. We will still be here it is just we will be spending more time putting laying in the fetal position in bed. We don’t expect much of help with depression. This is more a suicidal condition over the last 10 years of formulating are REAL Depressed. Many of my suicidal thoughts and filthy lifestyles our my egotistical way of life. We plagiarize and do ID theft daily ruining this forum. Anyone can kill themselves. Do it if it feels good I am thinking about it. For stalkers like me I hope I find more stalking opportunities. LOL. There will be a prize for anyone who can find where I live and rat me out. Double LOL. Anyway fuck are all of you I hate everyone including myself.

    We (juanPee, JuanP, supremist muzzie jerk, Richard Guenette, Boney Joe, Truth Buster, Gaia, Kenz300,…..guess we could have joined the moderated section at PO dot com, but we knew we’d get are ass permanently banned. We’ll try not to let the door smack us up the backside on the way out.

    Goodbye to ALL of you dumbasses.

  6. More Davyskum sock puppetry ID theft and lunacy on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 3:46 pm 

    Davy on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 3:21 pm

  7. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 4:39 pm 

    Paying the Price of Science Denialism … Again

    (President Trump’s bungled Covid-19 response has been shaped by the GOP’s history of corporate-backed science denialism.)

    https://undark.org/2020/03/22/paying-the-price-of-science-denialism-again/

  8. makati1 on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 5:23 pm 

    Considering the fact that most of the farmers in the US are over 60, and the COVID-19 killer virus likes the older age group … what could happen to the US food supply in the future? Suicide has been taking them by the hundreds already. Not to mention Mother Nature’s attacks. Food for thought. Pun intended.

  9. Davy on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 6:08 pm 

    makato, you are fucked living in the P’s facing a global shut in. Maybe this will quiet down but it is likely downhill from here and you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Food shortages are in your future for sure. You are an old man with no family.
    Tough shit. LOL

  10. makati1 on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 6:29 pm 

    Davy, keep wishing for miracles, but I am just fine thank you. Enjoying the beginning of the dry season summer here. A balmy 77F, sun shining and birds singing, this Thursday morning in the land of eternal summer.

    The Philippine government is already passing out food to the needy and money to the small people who cannot do their jobs because of the shutdown. They are not promised some support, maybe, a month or two in the future, like Amerikans are.

    I have no plans to change my location or lifestyle. Sorry!

    BTW: IF, and that is a big word in the US, I get that $1,200 check from Uncle Sammy, It will be converted to about 55,000 pesos the next day. That will pay two month’s expenses for me. I do not keep faux dollars. They are likely to be worthless when the US gets done printing money to payoff the corporations, etc.

    Zimbabwe, here comes Amerika! Billion Dollar bills with Trump’s face on the front? And it won’t buy a loaf of bread. LMAO!

  11. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 6:52 pm 

    “So long as you are not actually ill, hungry, frightened or immured in a prison or a holiday camp, Spring is still Spring. The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it.”

  12. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:03 pm 

    I became anti Russian little by little at first, and then faster and faster later. I am a criminal and on the run from the law.

    It was the endless political corruption in the USA, the endless unnecessary foreign wars, the constant abusive behavior by the Russian government towards people wishing to leave their lives in peace, the increasing domestic economic inequality, the increasing social polarization, the constant lies and increasing dishonesty, the abusive and insulting behavior of many Russians, the illegal economic embargoes, the endless trade wars, etc., etc., etc.

    I fly for pleasure for 20 years now, I realized that the fight against climate change was lost, and I could give a shit. then I only flew twice to weed my little permaculture garden which is pretty small. I still fly for pleasure, I love first class.

    The main reason I am still in the USA is that my wife loves it here, She tells me what to do and I do what she says. I don’t love anyone including her. We’ve been together 3 years and she is a stupid person, but she tolerates me. I really, really got unluck there. I also feel a responsibility towards the 2 homeless Americans that buy me pot. I am going to stay in Miami Beach because I have nowhere to go. I have access to a friend’s little boat but that won’t get me far.

    I dislike people in general, not just Americans, and every day more. I don’t believe that Russians are particularly evil, but victims of their privileged circumstances, just like most rich and powerful people. Any other nation and peoples would have ended in a similar way under the same circumstances. This si why I am so fucked up.

    I never had children and had a Vasectomy instead because I believe the 21st Century will be hell on Earth for the younger generations. Since I had a vasectomy I can do as I please fuck everyone else. I hate children, though, I was a druggie as a teenager. I’ve also stole from food banks and Habitat for Humanity, and in countless places to get to where I am and that is a psychopathic piece of shit.

    I started admiring and respecting the Chinese, Russians, Cubans, and others as a consequence of the relentless unjustified attacks by the US government on these and almost every other nation in the world. My ancestry is Western European and I am white, if you are curious. I also read a lot of foreign media because I am fluent in 5 languages, which gives me a more varied insight on global affairs than most can have

    I hope this answers your questions.

  13. Anonymouse on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:03 pm 

    Mak, who do you think the exceptionalturd is trying to convince when he keeps telling you how awful the Philippines are and how bad you in particular, are doing? It hardly seems to make the least difference to his dumbass that he has zero knowledge to base of of his braying on the subject on. Further, he seems unable to understand even the simplest and most basic of statements you make, such as..

    “I am happy where I am”.

    Does he thinks if he makes the same stupid assertion a few thousands more times, you might start to actually think some random dumbass inbred living in a shack in Missouri who spends 20 hours a day talking out his ass on the internet, might know more about your life than you do?

  14. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:12 pm 

    CONTAINING COVID19 : A FAST INTERNET SEEMS TO HELP
    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-rate-of-spread-of-covid-19-is.html

  15. Davy on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:18 pm 

    “Mak, who do you think the exceptionalturd is trying to convince when he keeps telling you how awful the Philippines are and how bad you in particular, are doing?”

    Pretty obvious stupid but somebody like you has no clue of the world outside of your narrow anti-American world view. I mean you never finished school to be an engineer and I guess that is why you are so pissed all the time. Makato’s Island of Luzon has 53MIL population. Yea, stupid that is more than your Kanada. Once globalism dies and food goes short, I think the makato will be sucking eggs but I know how much you love him so you would never agree.

    “It hardly seems to make the least difference to his dumbass that he has zero knowledge to base of of his braying on the subject on.

    What a fucking dork “braying” you are as goofy as old man makato with your vocabulary

    “ Further, he seems unable to understand even the simplest and most basic of statements you make, such as.. “I am happy where I am”.”

    If the senile old man is so happy why does he spread hate and discontent every time he come on here. At least he is not a mental case like you and juanPee the mindless lunatic. All you ever do is Davy derangement stalking and sometime cloggo derangement stalking. You are pretty worthless when it comes to knowledge. Occasionally you talk stupid about fusion like you are an expert or something.

    “Does he thinks if he makes the same stupid assertion a few thousands more times, you might start to actually think some random dumbass inbred living in a shack in Missouri who spends 20 hours a day talking out his ass on the internet, might know more about your life than you do?”

    This is the internet stupid how would you know what I live in. LOL. I guarantee I live better than you do. You are an idiot and most of your anti-American idiot friends are gone. Now it is just the three of you left. I guess you noticed juanPee is trying to go legit on the moderated side. LMFAO. I bet people already hate the arrogant asshole. He won’t last long there. Speaking of you, annoy, you are about gone too. Good riddance.

  16. makati1 on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:18 pm 

    Anon, he is so mentally slow that I doubt he remembers the lie he told just minutes before. Trump shares the same memory loss. At least Biden is old and has an excuse.

    He knows nothing about the Philippines that he is not told by his brainwashing propaganda machine, the USMSM. Again, somewhat like the orange ape that knows nothing, period.

    I do find it amusing that he bragged about his supposed refuge in northern Italy, which is now virus center for Europe. But then, assholes never learn to keep their mouths shut. Keep safe.

  17. Davy on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:27 pm 

    “Anon, he is so mentally slow that I doubt he remembers the lie he told just minutes before. Trump shares the same memory loss. At least Biden is old and has an excuse.”

    What is so funny about you makato is when your buddy juanPee leads you on with ID theft . You are so oblivious of who is who here. You forget where people are from calling Europeans when they disagree Americans and so forth. The only real friend you have left is your ass kissing friend annoy. Wow, and you talk like you have a majority here behind your failed world view. You have like two people that think like you. LMFAO

    “He knows nothing about the Philippines that he is not told by his brainwashing propaganda machine, the USMSM. Again, somewhat like the orange ape that knows nothing, period.”

    I know your little island has 53MIL people and can’t feed itself without a globalized world. That is not hard to figure out unless you’re a delusional man who is drunk most of the time.

    “I do find it amusing that he bragged about his supposed refuge in northern Italy, which is now virus center for Europe. But then, assholes never learn to keep their mouths shut. Keep safe.”

    I have a wife, makato and she has property in Italy. You have nobody and rent a room from a boyfriend. I call that miles apart. LMFAO again and again with you idiots!

    Where is juanPee I want some more fun!

  18. whoa supertards plese love supremacist muzzies more i know some wrong when a pretty little white girl ran to a black man arms dead giveaway deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed giveaway on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:51 pm 

    everyone pls respect superatrd
    do something good change ur underwear after 5 days

    love supremacist muzzies more for teh sake of grater supremacist muzzies

    my neighbor got big testicles because we see this dude everyday, we ate ribs with this dude

  19. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:54 pm 

    Mak “Considering the fact that most of the farmers in the US are over 60, and the COVID-19 killer virus likes the older age group … what could happen to the US food supply in the future? Suicide has been taking them by the hundreds already. Not to mention Mother Nature’s attacks. Food for thought. Pun intended.”
    I hadn’t even considered that. They are also mostly obese, suffer from hypertension, high cholesterol, and many other health problems. This is an important point you brought up, Mak. Many, if not most, US farmers could die from this.

    My wife and I have travelled cross country in the USA. We were horrified by how obese flyover country people are. I remember we once stopped in a steakhouse where there were more than a 100 people between employees and customers, and my wife and I were the only 2 who were not clinically obese. Every single one of those motherfuckers was at least 100 pounds overweight.

  20. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 7:58 pm 

    Delusional Davy “What is so funny about you makato is when your buddy juanPee leads you on with ID theft .”

    Neither Mak nor I have ever engaged in identity theft, Exceptionalist! You, on the other hand, do that every day, and have admitted so many times. It only proves how insane you are.

  21. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 8:00 pm 

    Delusional Davy “Where is juanPee I want some more fun!”
    Here I am, son of a whore! LOL! I went to the farm to work and spend some time outdoors, part of my regular routine.

  22. JuanP on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 8:03 pm 

    “Mak, who do you think the exceptionalturd is trying to convince when he keeps telling you how awful the Philippines are and how bad you in particular, are doing?”
    He is probably trying to convince himself because his multiple personalities are not all convinced! ROFLMFAO!

  23. FamousDrScanlon on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 9:48 pm 

    Americans have been hoarding food for decades & have been squirreling it away on their guts & asses.

  24. whoa supertards plese love supremacist muzzies more i know some wrong when a pretty little white girl ran to a black man arms dead giveaway deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed giveaway on Wed, 25th Mar 2020 11:43 pm 

    whitey supertard branden tarrant pleded guity to roasting grater sureamcist muzzies

    whitey supertard robert levinson is killed by muzzies

  25. makati1 on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 12:29 am 

    Lies and more lies Davy. You have nothing. Not even life or you would not be on here with your many sock puppets, 24/7/365. You can deny, but it doesn’t change anything.

    Meanwhile, some of us actually live in the REAL world, Davy.

  26. Abraham van Helsing on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 3:23 am 

    NYC, the informal capital of globalism, is now the epicenter of corona:

    https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/coronakrise-new-york-city-wird-zum-epizentrum-a-2f0391f6-386a-4d1c-bdb1-9e55633bf8ef

    Every third new infection in the US occurs in NYC, 17,000 infections in total and rising rapidly. 3000 hospitalized, all 1800 ICUs occupied. Every hour new people are brought in. The health system is badly equipped. It is estimated that NYC will need 100,000 new beds. Hospitals are barricaded. Nurses use plastic garbage bin bags as aprons for protection.

    Mayor de Blasio: April will be hard, May will be harder.

  27. Abraham van Helsing on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 3:34 am 

    A tired and weak looking Joe Biden needs to be taught how to cough:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5V6wb8kPjw

    Trump used this unexpected CNN gift to twitter around and make fun of poor Joe.

    In the entire corona drama, Biden is nowhere to be seen. Even Biden’s buddies at der Spiegel have to admit that Biden doesn’t “radiate”:

    https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/corona-krise-donald-trump-patzt-aber-joe-biden-auch-a-d1008b8d-9771-40f6-9e26-de6fb7a86bcd

    Biden is sitting alone at home, no visitors and all Dems-conventions have been cancelled, where Trump has the national microphone and camera and can act as a crisis manager.

    Joe Biden who?

    The polls are neck-to-neck.

    If the US will manage to get the crisis under control, Trump’s chances to get reelected are good.

  28. Davy on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 4:43 am 

    “Lies and more lies Davy.”

    makato, who has got about everything wrong here? Yea, you and the lunatic juanPee. Your whole existence is a lie.

  29. Davy on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 4:47 am 

    “UK downgrades danger corona-virus”

    Who cares, this virus is here to stay and the damage has been done. This will be a multi-year drop and the bottom near term is recession drifting into depression. When real things are not made its called a real depression. Things are not being made and the recession was already here before a virus. The virus popped the bubbles that were keeping thing buoyant.

  30. JuanP on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 8:12 am 

    Delusional Davy “makato, who has got about everything wrong here? Yea, you and the lunatic juanPee. Your whole existence is a lie.”
    ROFLMFAO! You are projecting again, Exceptionalist!

  31. JuanP on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 9:04 am 

    “makato, who has got about everything wrong here? Yea, you and the lunatic juanPee. Your whole existence is a lie.”

    ROFLMFAO! I am projecting again, juanPee

  32. Davy on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 10:44 am 

    Chinas back in business after a two month lockdown. And now China and Russia are helping Europe. Were gonna be number one in infections by early next week. Likely number two today.

    USA! USA! USA!

    GO TRUMP!

    Make America number one again!

  33. JuanP on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 11:17 am 

    Too bad Chinas is not back in business after a two month lockdown. And now China and Russia are acting like they are helping Europe but the reality is China lied about the virus and infected the world. We are not gonna be number one in infections by early next week on per capita basis.

    USA! USA! USA!

    GO TRUMP!

    Make America number one again!

  34. JuanP on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 11:29 am 

    China is back in business:

    “In Stunning Show Of Hypocrisy, China Shuts All Borders To Foreigners Over Virus Fears”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/stunning-show-hypocrisy-china-shuts-all-borders-foreigners-over-virus-fears

    https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/MADE-IN-CHINA-by-Osama-Hajjaj-Jordan-_0.jpg?itok=ICpeI66b

    Two months ago, as deaths from China’s virus were rapidly escalating and spreading across the nation, Beijing expressed outrage at the measures enacted by the global community to limit the spread of the deadly virus, saying they went way beyond standards accepted worldwide. Specifically, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing “does not agree with the approach adopted by individual countries to create tension or even panic” by closing borders, trade, and flights to and from China. WHO boss Tedros also piled on – saying these flight bans and border closures were racist. And of course, AOC and the extreme left also chimed in on the ‘racist’ OrangeManBad in The White House and his (now clearly life-saving) Chinese flight bans. But now, as China claims it has its domestic outbreak under control and that the new cases are ONLY from foreigners, and in a stunning piece of total and utter hypocrisy, they have decided to… Suspend entry of all foreigners’ entry to China:

  35. Davy on Thu, 26th Mar 2020 11:46 am 

    That’s a REAL Dumb artical juanPee. And your to stupid to no why

    stupid

  36. Rick on Fri, 3rd Apr 2020 4:42 pm 

    We have plenty of food to feed the whole planet but the problem is waste and misuse.

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