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24 Dec, 2021 13:49

World’s biggest grain stockpile revealed

World’s biggest grain stockpile revealed

The world’s most populous country, China, has managed to stockpile more than half of the globe's corn and other grains, and is expected to boost food reserves further, statistics show.

According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, China is likely to have 69% of the globe's corn reserves in the first half of the 2022 crop year – 60% of rice and 51% of wheat. The projections indicate increases of around 20 percentage points over the past 10 years.

Data by the Chinese General Administration of Customs shows the nation spent $98.1 billion importing food (beverages are not included) in 2020, up 4.6 times from a decade earlier. In the first nine months of this year, China imported more food than it had since at least 2016 – that’s as far back as available data goes.

Over the past five years, China's soybean, corn, and wheat imports soared two to  twelvefold on the back of massive purchases from the United States, Brazil, and other supply nations. Imports of beef, pork, dairy, and fruit jumped two to fivefold.

READ MORE: Cost of food in the world rising at fastest pace in 40 years – study

Experts say the country is importing more grain and other food because domestic production is unable to keep up with consumption.

The head of grain reserves at the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, Qin Yuyun, told reporters last month that China is maintaining its food stockpiles at a “historically high level.” 

“Our wheat stockpiles can meet demand for one and a half years. There is no problem whatsoever about the supply of food,” Qin said.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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