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10:10AM

The growing Sino-America co-dependency on food

FT story on a subject I've been harping on since my last book (and in it):  the stunning co-dependency that arrives with America increasingly feeding China, making our ag output as important to Beijing as the PG's energy exports.

Some data points on China's total imports (so not all NorthAm or US):

  • Cereal imports into China up almost 13,000 percent since 2008 to current 5.2m MT
  • Wheat up 6,000% to 3m MT
  • Rice up 264% to 1.6m MT
  • Overall rise from low-point of 2008 is from 2m MT to 12m MT.
  • China is now the 7th biggest importer in world, after Japan, Egypt (remember that when you imagine Egypt going rogue under the MB), Mexico, EU-27, Saudi Arabia, and SoKo.  Japan is #1 at just under 25m MT.

Note that US is biggest world exporter of wheat, corn and soybeans.

Yes, China is planting like crazy, so its own ag output is up.  It's just that demand is rising much faster.

The key line of the piece: 

China still has an official policy that mandates 95 percent self-sufficiency - a policy known as the "red line" - but recent comments suggest that the insistence on self-sufficiency is waning.

The US is waking up to China as THE ag export market.  Nebraska's top ag official:

China represents a huge export market . . . [and] a growing export destination.  

Nebraska's corn exports to China have doubled in the last half-decade.

China is already the world's biggest soybean importer (and - again - the US is the biggest exporter), and "is adding corn, wheat, barley and rice to its shopping list" (and - again - the US is the biggest exporter of corn and wheat).

References (1)

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Reader Comments (2)

The Chinese are trying to use Food to their political advantage in the Middle East.
From Dec 27th Washington post "China looks to meat exports to boost ties to Arab world"

“The short-term goal of increasing halal meat going to Arab countries is to build up our local economy and workforce,” said one provincial official here, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the strategy of central authorities. “But the real goal is to introduce the Arab world to us and get them comfortable with the idea of building up their relations and investment in China. . . . And energy is not the only reason behind it, but it is a big one.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-looks-to-meat-exports-to-boost-ties-to-arab-world/2012/12/26/c258f93e-3688-11e2-bfd5-e202b6d7b501_story.html

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTkCollier

@ TkCollier

"China looks to meat exports to boost ties to Arab world".

Then it is above board. It's not like taking donations from so-called rogue states to fund their own government or supporting them in return for dominance.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthomas

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