Protein and Transpacific Power - China's Emergent Struggle for Food Security

Posted by freedomforall 11 months, 1 week ago to Economics
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"Most of the attention post-Ida has thus focused on quantifying damage to the region’s energy industry, especially as Ida made landfall directly on top of Port Fourchon, the gateway hub for servicing the offshore drilling industry in the Gulf of Mexico. With the port now in absolute disarray, the offshore rigs are at a production standstill for up to several weeks, leaving refiners with reduced inventory to process into fuels and chemicals. Understandably, this makes policy-makers, refiners, and consumers extremely nervous about a spike in prices for a whole range of petrochemical products ranging from gasoline to polypropylene to resins.

Overlooked in much of the mainstream analysis of Ida’s impact, however, is the critical role southern Louisiana plays in the United States’ agriculture industry. The various terminals (Image 3) in the lower Mississippi River (the 250-mile stretch of river from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico) are responsible for some 59% of US corn exports and 60% of US soybean exports, as of 2020.

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(Image 3) Lower Mississippi River ports - Courtesy of LSU AgCenter
Further, volumes of corn exports via the region’s terminals skyrocketed in the most recent marketing year (1 Sep 2020 - 31 Aug 2021), with a 42% year over year increase for the first six months of 2021 versus 2020.

In short - China is desperately short of crucial grains and oilseeds needed for domestic human and animal consumption. Understand, food security is not an unknown issue in China. So too is it widely known that CCP media organs and official ministries routinely lie about a range of food-related issues, from grain and oilseed production to hog population and slaughter figures. The CCP even went so far as to engineer the collapse and takeover of Swiss agriculture and chemical conglomerate Syngenta several years ago to short-path China’s rise to being a tier one agriculture research powerhouse alongside the United States, Japan, and the European Union."

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