China drought, heavy rains spark concern over grain supply as Xi Jinping launches campaign against food waste

China drought, heavy rains spark concern over grain supply as Xi Jinping launches campaign against food waste

  • Concerns are mounting about China’s grain supply this year, despite government assurances that the summer harvest was at ‘an all-time high’
  • Output has been hit by drought and heavy rains and many farmers are hoarding crops in expectation that prices will continue rising because of low supply, traders say

Standing amid his sodden field sown with peanuts, Wang Wei pulls a clump of green leaves from the mud and frowns as he looks at the tiny, underdeveloped pods at the base of the plant.

The farmer from Baoshang village in the central Chinese province of Henan grumbles they are much too small to ensure a good autumn peanut crop. Already reeling from a poor summer wheat harvest following drought in May and early June, heavy rain now threatens to hammer Wang’s output with a “double blow”.

“I can’t recall a year that had a drought this bad … my wheat output was almost halved from last year,” he said, adding he was likely to see his peanut output shrink by a third and corn production decline by roughly 10 per cent.

“Too little rain in the first half, but too much in the second half.”