Beijing News recently reported that, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food safety may become an issue in some countries and regions due to the lack of labor and to supply chain disruptions. The FAO expects the worst case may occur in April or May. Multiple food exporters are limiting or even banning the export of food. For example, Kazakhstan has banned exports of wheat, carrots, sugar and potatoes. Serbia has stopped exporting sunflower oil. Vietnam has also restricted rice exports and Russia has stopped exporting finished grains. China is seeing high volume of food purchases in many cities. China imports around 100 million tons of food every year, which is a quarter of the world’s food trade volume. China has enough wheat, rice and corn stock as well as the capacity to produce domestically. However, soybeans, which hold an 80 percent share of the 100 million annual food imports, may be impacted. However, the impact is not obvious at the moment. In the future, the bottleneck could be on the transportation side, since the United States and Brazil are China’s primary suppliers. A temporary halt could happen, yet it is expected to be a very short one.
Source: Beijing News, April 1, 2020