17 Apr 2022 2:53 p.m
Due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, grain costs are increasing significantly. Western officials have reportedly called on China to free up its grain reserves in order to ease the pressure on western markets.
China’s government has no plans to release the country’s massive grain reserves to bring much-needed relief to Western countries grappling with historically high food prices. The Chinese local newspaper Xinjiang Daily reported on Friday. The paper reported:
“Some foreign media have recently claimed that the build-up of China’s grain reserves is said to [russisch-ukrainischen] ‘Anticipated’ conflict by causing prices to rise in global grain markets. They even asked China to release 20 percent of its grain stocks to save the European market.”
The newspaper added that these demands were “absurd and unreasonable”.
In December, the US Department of Agriculture estimated that China will hold 69 percent of the world’s corn supplies, 60 percent of the rice and 51 percent of the wheat supplies in the first half of the 2022 crop year.
The newspaper report highlights that grain prices in China have been under pressure since early 2022 due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, drought in South America and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Nevertheless, China managed to keep prices stable on the domestic market.
Some Western critics have accused China of contributing to global inflation, rising food prices and regional food shortages as the country imports grain in record quantities every year.
According to the publication, “acute shortages” of some agricultural commodities such as soybeans and sunflower seeds pose a threat to China’s food security. A sharp drop in grain stocks will “seriously affect” sustainable supplies and trigger market turmoil.
More on the subject – Food and Agriculture Organization: Food prices hit record high