World Grain - March 2021 - 28

10,849
13,645
14,470
5,000
2,167
5,316
2,631
3,120
2,490
5,083
1,604
629
1,045
1,026
1,225
1,321
928
440
203
164
89
550
1,172
862
330
819
505
467
446
325
500

EXPORTS

19
990
19
991
19
992
19
993
19
994
19
995
19
996
19
997
19
998
19
999
20
000
20
001
20
002
20
003
20
004
20
005
20
006
20
007
20
008
20
009
20
010
20
011
20
012
20
013
20
014
20
015
20
016
20
017
20
018
20
019
20
020

IMPORTS

Russian wheat imports/exports
1,200
555
900
500
619
206
697
1,111
1,652
518
696
4,372
1,2621
3,114
7,951
10,664
10,790
12,220
18,393
18,556
3,983
21,627
11,308
18,609
22,800
25,546
27,815
41,447
35,863
34,485
40,000

Top possible
future trade
disruptors:
x Plant-based
protein
x Climate change
x Sustainability
concerns
x Drop in biofuels
usage in favor
of electric

28

grains and the following year, faced
with shortages, it quietly bought onefourth of the US wheat crop in what
has become known as the Great Grain
Robbery. The United States subsidized
the purchases, causing domestic prices
to rise, and lost revenue while spending
$300 million in public funds.
The shortage in the Soviet Union
turned out to be part of an overall grain
production shortage. As a result, wheat
prices sky-rocketed and stocks were
decimated. Global food prices in 1973
increased as much as 30%. But a new
WUDGHÀRZZDVFUHDWHGDQGWKH6RYLHWV
would continue for decades to be a major importer of grain.
Over the next 20 years, the Soviet
Union continued to import large
amounts of grain, growing from 27
million tonnes in 1975 to a record-high
of 47 million tonnes in 1985.
As food prices continued to rise
in the United States, then-President
Richard Nixon announced in June 1973
an export embargo on grains, including
soybeans. This led to a huge surplus in
the United States and dropped the price
of soybeans by almost half. Farmers
were not pleased and by October, the
restrictions were gone. But the market
already had responded.
Japan, which relied heavily on the
United States for its soybeans for feed
as well as use in tofu, was shocked by
the embargo and realized it needed to
diversify its supply to insulate against
any future events. It turned to Brazil,
which at the time had a small soybean
industry.
Introduced to Brazil in 1882, soy
was mainly used as feed for pigs. By
the end of the 1940s, it started to be
used as a feedstock and for cooking oil,
according to the Land journal article,
" Soy Expansion and Socioeconomic
Development in Municipalities of
Brazil. " In the 1960s, soy was cultivated in two states and the harvested area
was 300,000 hectares.
As buyers sought out Brazil for their
soybean needs, production expanded
so that by the end of the 1970s, it had
reached 8.5 million hectares.

In 1980, Japan and Brazil initiated
the Japanese-Brazilian Cooperation
Program for the Development of the
Cerrados. During the 21-year program,
-DSDQ¿QDQFHGWKHH[SDQVLRQRIIDUPing into the cerrados, the tropical savanna region, while Brazil covered the
cost of infrastructure improvements.
-DSDQ DOVR KHOSHG ¿QDQFH WKH GHYHOopment of soybean varieties and pest
management. Brazil, now the world's
leading soybean exporter, is expected
to harvest 38.6 million hectares of soybeans in 2020-21.
Starting in the 1990s, a second wave
of globalization was in full swing and
the agriculture market was seeing sigQL¿FDQW LQFUHDVHV LQ LPSRUWV DQG H[ports. New competitors were emerging
as nations reformed policies and adopted new technologies that lowered the
cost of production and increased yields.
International attention turned to
China's demand for agricultural imports as the country emerged from isolation and allowed economic forces to
allocate resources, said the ERS in its
report, " China's Growing Demand for
Agricultural Imports. "
China's accession to the WTO
also generated additional projections,
based on the principle of comparative
advantage, that China would import
more land-intensive crops and export
labor-intensive products, the ERS said.
Rising income and living standards, increasing urbanization and food safety
concerns fueled China's imports. It has
been a major source of growth in world
demand for soybeans since the 1990s,
the ERS said, but the nation also brings
VLJQL¿FDQWYRODWLOLW\WRWKHPDUNHW
" Sudden and dramatic policy shifts,
DQGWKHLUVXEVHTXHQWH൵HFWRQ&KLQD¶V
LQWHUQDWLRQDO WUDGH SUR¿OH PDNH WKH
country a relatively volatile player, "
the ERS said. For example, in 1994
and 1995, China abruptly increased its
JUDLQLPSRUWVDQGFXWR൵FRUQH[SRUWV
as concerns about grain shortages and
LQÀDWLRQ EHFDPH ZLGHVSUHDG 7KHQ
from 1997 to 2003, China stopped
importing wheat and boosted grain
exports.
March 2021 / World Grain / World-Grain.com


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World Grain - March 2021

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