Extreme Floods / Covid-19 / China Food Shortage Fears

A Chinese granary has banned recording devices after a viral video emerged showing rotting corn in food storage bins

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

China is not having a good year. Following China’s largely self inflicted Covid-19 disaster, and months of extreme rain pushing floodwaters against the structurally questionable Three Gorges dam, failure of which could wash away China’s industrial and agricultural heartland with a 31 billion 39 trillion litre inland tsunami, reports are now appearing claiming there is a looming Chinese food shortage.

China corn video stokes food security fears amid coronavirus pandemic, flooding and drought

Beijing criticises local move to ban mobile devices from granaries, says investigation shows no problem with corn quality

Suspicions about quantity and quality of corn stockpiles arose due to a recent jump in market price and record purchases from United States

Orange Wang
Published: 8:23pm, 3 Aug, 2020

China’s state agency in charge of its strategic grain stockpiles has sparked concern over the quality of national grain reserves, particularly corn, after a local unit moved to ban all photo-taking devices from its granaries.

The device ban followed the online posting of a video showing a pile of corn from a Sinograin warehouse in Zhaodong, a county-level city outside Zhaozhou, in mid-July.

The ban on carrying mobile phones into granaries further fuelled online speculation that the state-owned grain reserve agency could be hiding a deterioration in the quality of stockpiles and was moving to prevent exposure.

Much of the grain appeared to be mouldy and mixed with bits of dirt and other foreign matter. The clip circulated on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.

Read more: https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3095862/china-corn-video-stokes-public-food-security-fears-amid

China is importing unusual quantities of food.

China Food Crisis? Rising Domestic Prices And Large Import Purchases Send A Signal

Sal Gilbertie
Contributor
35,674 views|Jul 28, 2020,05:34pm EDT

Above average rainfall and rising floodwaters are not just threatening to compromise China’s gargantuan Three Gorges Dam; rain and flooding are already disrupting rice, wheat and other crop production in the provinces all along the entire Yangtze River.

Perhaps this is why China, which holds just over half of the world’s wheat inventories and is the globe’s second largest producer of wheat (behind the European Union), has already imported more wheat in the first half of 2020 than it has in the first half of any year in the past decade. In the month of June alone, China’s single month import volume of wheat from all sources was the highest in seven years.

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/salgilbertie/2020/07/28/china-food-crisis-rising-domestic-prices-and-large-import-purchases-send-a-signal/

Obviously it is difficult to confirm anything about China, particularly when what you are trying to confirm is bad news. The rotting corn video ban might just be a heavy handed official trying to conceal a local issue at a single storage depot.

But if flooding and wet conditions have severely impacted China’s agricultural sector, there is a risk ongoing Chinese food purchases this year could trigger a substantial global food price spike.

Correction (EW): h/t Scute, Three Gorges dam holds 39 trillion litres, not 31 billion litres.

103 thoughts on “Extreme Floods / Covid-19 / China Food Shortage Fears

    • The Us sending corn there for politics and farmer votes is living proof that the capitalist will literally sell the rope to be used by the communists to hang them. Let Red China get real hungty. Mandate of Heaven will then change

      • “Sending corn there for politics and farmer votes”?

        Sometimes I am amazed at the replies to something that is so simple. In case you haven’t been doing any reading in the recent years, we have been running massive trade deficits with them. Where do you think they got the money to buy our industries and our politicians? We gave it to them. Maybe it’s simple enough that we need to sell them something – you know – so that they can pay us back some of those dollars we are sending them. And, due to very good crop growing weather here and demand destruction of corn due to the purposely caused shutdown of the American economy, we happen to have massive amounts of surplus corn. Also, we did learn under Jimmy Carter that grain embargoes do not work.

      • “Chairman Pooh has good news, Comrades. There is plenty of food. . . in a nearby country. Anyone who is hungry can join the army and visit nebycostan.” Problem solved.

  1. Good thing the U.S grows lots of cheap food then…U.S. farmers need a break after all the *stuff* they have had to put up with while we fight for fairness with China. Having them forced to buy food from us at least gives the farmers a short-term relief.

    If there is starving, I hope the Chinese people wake up and revolt against their communist government. They may not get democracy but they could at least get more say-so in their own government.

    • People here have no idea of the crazy stuff going on in China. For instance, employees of state sponsored enterprises are not allowed to quit for at least some period of time without the permission of the communist party.

    • They tried that already, and the communist government simply shot them. It is not so easy to revolt when the government owns all the communication networks and clamps down on all attempts to organize larger-scale revolts that could actually succeed.

  2. So, me advising people to stock up on store-able food products for the last, well, 3 decades is not such bad advice after all. Imagine that. The Three Gorges Project has looked like a balls up from the start. The old adage”Never under-build” may well bite CCP in the ass.

    • I have been listening to a great YouTube presentation called “Crossraods with Joshua Philips”. This fellow does a great job at informing the world about the ongoing problems in China. He presents a compelling narrative augmented with great video of real time happenings in China. One of the subjects which he has discussed multiple times has been about the Three Gorges dam project. he states that the dam was built in sections as opposed to most dame which are poured in their entirety from the ground up. That means that there are multiple seams in that huge project. The recemt stress on the Three Gorges dam has shown that these seams have the potential to be the weak spot of the dam. There has been seepage due to the recent stresses at these seams. China better hope that they do not get hit with a large quake as that could well be the final blow to unleash a monster flood. Such an event would forever change China, and could herald the end of the CCP.

      • Now don’t be fergettin, it is the height of the water at the face of the dam that is important, not the amount of water impounded by the dam.

        • True, the hydraulic head is the same whether there is much volume stored behind the dam or not. 2 feet or 200 miles of water column stored behind the dam provides the exact same water pressure at the face of the dam. But a breech of the dam with 39 cubic Km of water storage would be a major catastrophic event. All dams leak, they are designed to, so they can drain away any water accumulation that does seep and weep through. What I think the Chinese people should fear is that the dam was compromised while being built with shoddy materials, probably for poor quality cement and rebar. In order to maximize profit in China, one must be corrupt, and there is no organization more corrupt than the CCP Red Chinese party. Undoubtedly, many ‘shortcuts’ were taken in the building of Three Gorges Dam.

          • Over three orders of magnitude greater, ie 14.55 million cubic meters of water vs. 39.3 billion cubic meters, or 2700 times more impounded water.

          • Samuel,

            Flowering plants didn’t flourish until the Carboniferous, whether they first arose in the Triassic or before. Is English your first language?

        • That is right. The waters had reached a point just 21 feet away from the top at the peak of the 3rd wave. Looks like the region is going to get hit once again as the winds which had been pushing those continuous storms into the Yangtze drainage is now reforming. They got a slight reprieve for a week+ when a large rotation down by the Equator pulled the storms southward. Now over the last several days the winds which had been pushing the storms to the northeats are back. … https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=total_cloud_water/orthographic=-279.38,16.68,918/loc=89.852,18.694

  3. No, they’d never cover a pile of rotting corn with festive blanket made by lazy Uighurs, right?

        • I love it! Every other Chinese phrase is automatically translated, except for this one!

          For those who haven’t tried it (in fact, even for those who have tried it), 谷歌翻译糟透了 translates to “Google translate sucks.”

      • NMSL. It’s meant as an insult towards critics of China, but I was using it tongue and cheek towards China’s seemingly cursed situation.

        The word “NMSL” is a pinyin(Chinese typing/pronunciation system) abbreviation of the Chinese phrase “你妈死了”, which translates to “You mother died”. The word is used as an insult mainly online and is a part of modern Chinese internet culture. The word gained popularity when mainland Chinese people, mostly teens, circulated government censorship to post pro-China propaganda on western social media and used this word to insult people who said anything negative about China

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=NMSL

  4. It’s 31 trillion litres (not billion) because there’s 31 cu km of water = 31 billion cu metres = 31 trillion litres.

    • Thanks Scute. Wikipedia puts the capacity at 39 km^3, so I’m going with 39 trillion litres. I should have double checked the 31 billion litre number.

      • Trillion, billion, that much water the exact amount won’t really matter. At least not to the people in front of it.

        I wonder if people are already self-evacuating? Or if troops are stopping them from doing so?

      • Is that its normal capacity? And is it not the problem that it is currently way over its safe design capacity? Who knows how much is retained at the moment.

        • “And is it not the problem that it is currently way over its safe design capacity?”

          If the Chinese government are telling the truth, the water level still has a few metres to go before it becomes dangerous. The problem as I understand it is that they’ve been dumping water as fast as possible for weeks, and that’s not only flooded much of the land beyond the dam, but may have caused damage to the dam itself.

          I doubt it’s going to collapse, but the damage that’s already been done from dumping water to protect the dam is bad enough.

          • Well, I hope they are correct. The CCP needs a great big anvil to drop on it, but the poor suffering ordinary folk sure could use a break.

      • Antarctic has 26 million cubic Km.

        Much bigger. A big dam made by man is trivial against the background of nature.

  5. China recently put a 80.5% tariff on Australian Barley. Australia’s population is approximately 26 million and the country produces enough food to feed 75 million so if China asks nicely we could help (but we might put a 80.5% tariff on all of the stuff).

    • Tells you how egocentric the government of China is and just how disconnected from reality they are.

    • Been playing the same stupid games with us here in canada
      It would be nice if they were forced to come camp in hand and ask nicely for some pork and canola but I’m pretty sure Xi would let 50 million starve before he’d ever do that.

    • lot of local farmers just halted brley and planted other crops. some already in will be feed or beer here.
      chinas also got locusts in west still dry areas but i saw theyd flown to far east areas where the floods havent hit..yet.
      the govt are assh*les
      but the poor farmers n the avg people are suffering already
      and Xi managed to make himself unremoveable pretty much before the shtf
      will the CCP have the guts to depose him?
      doubtful
      he’d need to have an “accident” is how they tend to manage things..

  6. Half of the Chinese pig herd -220 million pigs, died last year due to a viral infection. China has been importing pork from Germany, however due to the corona virus, meat production has been significantly scaled back. The north of China is in drought and there will be no crops this year. The flooding in the upper Yangtze River was exacerbated because levees were destroyed to protect the dam and Wuhan which is further downstream. This action has flooded villages and destroyed millions of acres of premium food cropping areas, many people have died or gone missing. Water has been released from the Three Gorges Dam, which was over-full because the wall has moved and cracks have appeared . The weight of this water has caused landslides and earthquakes. This was done without notification and in the middle of the night, drowning people in their beds and electrocuting many others. China throws its weight around but it has very big problems at home.

    • China banned Canadian pork imports in retaliation against the Huawei/Ming extradition arrest. They bought African pork to compensate, and imported diseased herds which infected the domestic herds. After decimating domestic production, they are buying Canadian pork again.

      You can’t make this stuff up. The CCP are some of the dumbest people on the planet. The whole clown car government is falling apart.

      • They are promoted based solely on who they know and who they have benefited.
        Competence is not a job requirement.
        For years they have used their own power and the power of their friends/relatives to throw the blame for any mistakes they make onto others.
        This is how all governments act, the only difference is that the bigger the government, the bigger the corruption.

      • There is nothing more dangerous than these types of arrogant aholes. Some of the rhetoric coming from the top leadership is bordering on dangerously crazy. What is great to see is the group of nations which are banding toegther to denounce Xi Yinping and his actions. These includes Australia, India, Taiwan, some of the southeast Asian nations, and a few others. They are making new agreements of understanding among each other to specifcally stand against the major bully which China has become under their current leadership. That is heartening to see as China can not threaten such a dedicated group of nations. United they stand.

      • chinas corps own the SD piggeries and quite few others
        when they shut down due to covid oddly chinas imports of usa pork didnt seem to be stopped?
        and curious how usa pork was an approved import to china?

    • Yeh, except the wacko Green/Pink mob are hell bent on ruining the efficient productive systems delivering the biggest food surpluses the world has ever seen. Unprecedented, even!!

      And lets face it, if they succeed, its not the First World countries that will again face famine, we will probably still produce enough to feed ourselves.

      No, its the developing nations that will carry the burden, as it was 50 years ago. The whole western Green movement is fundamentally racist, in the classic sense of the word.

      • Not sure about that anymore. The way the US and the UK are going they are setting themselves up to become not very wealthy countries. Neither has learned the real lesson of the world wars in the 20th century.

  7. Given the Chi-Coms lack of concern for their population’s well being. A Three River Dam failure would be a disaster of biblical proportions.

    • I have read that such an event could potentially affect around 400 million people. That would definitely be on the biblical scale of catastrophes.

    • Those images are so obviously faked that you should be ashamed to help them circulate.
      It takes only a few minutes with a graphics program for an average operator to make such false images. Some of the image results would if real, require the compression of huge blocks of reinforced concrete by a few percent of it’s original size. Concrete does not do that. The partner of compression is tension elsewhere. Concrete under sufficient tension cracks but does not deform like putty.
      It is such obvious fakery. Geoff S

      • They’re from Google Earth. I’m guessing it’s probably artifacts from stitching different satellite images together.

    • The Chinese have a problem. Their genotype has more ACE2 receptors than other racial groups providing more entry points for SARS-CoV-2. The Chinese diet is also significantly deficient in zinc and selenium so they have less robust innate immune systems meaning the viral load may replicate faster than the adaptive immune system can respond.

  8. How high up is the Wuhan bio-lab? Wuhan is a couple of feet from inundation. It would be a shame if the clean room was flooded.

  9. That amount of water would fill 15.6 million olympic swimming pools. Michael Phelps, eat your heart out.

  10. It’s just amazing how utterly racist we’ve all become about the new Yellow Peril, the Chinese. With black lives matter we polish our self-righteousness so it shines like a Harley Davidson, then cash in the moral licensing from that to allow ourselves unlimited and undiluted racist loathing of the Chinese. And the Russians and Iranians while we’re at it.

    So the only permitted commentary about possible food storage and starvation is “those evil slant-eyed yellow monkeys are blocking news about grain spoiling in granaries”.

    Chinese granary has banned recording devices after a viral video emerged showing rotting corn in food storage bins

    Well enjoy your schadenfreude racism-fest but count me out.

    And don’t come back whining with “we just luuuuuuuve the people, it’s only the evil government” BS, it’s a lie. Let’s face what we’ve become, total racists driven by inferiority complex.

    • I don’t hate the Chinese, I just hate Communists. They are all liars, cheats, thieves and slavers.

      This isn’t about Chinese lies; it’s about Communist lies. Communists have no morality, no ethics beyond the lust for power, so lying is perfectly acceptable to them – especially when it covers up their own gross incompetence.

      Please don’t polish your self-righteousness by tarring others with the brush of “racism”. You come across as projecting your own world-view, not that of others.

    • It’s almost humorous that you left-wing trolls equate everything to racism. When did “Russian” become a race? (You will find it’s the left-wing Democrats who bash the Russians, they think President Trump is a Russian stooge.) Go find a comment area with idiots of your own ilk so you can babble and be appreciated.

    • Another leftist who declares that any criticism of a minority is de facto racism.

      It easier than actually countering the criticism.

    • You are the only one to use the words “those evil slant-eyed yellow monkeys”, the rest of us are criticizing the Chinese Communist Party. You racists are really sick.

  11. Interested Observer
    “Communists have no morality, no ethics beyond the lust for power, so lying is perfectly acceptable to them – especially when it covers up their own gross incompetence.”

    I’m no supporter of Communism, but the irony of what you wrote given who is running the free world at the moment is just too funny. Let’s swop the word communism for Trump…

    “Trump has no morality, no ethics beyond his lust for power, so lying for him is perfectly acceptable – especially when it covers up his own gross incompetence.”

    Isn’t it a funny old world? It would seem the extremes of communism and capitalism have the same issues.

    • Simon, just because you say something about President Trump does not make it true. Can’t you keep your comments related to the article or the other comments?

    • Once again, the troll declares that anyone who disagrees with him is pure evil and is automatically assigned every flaw that the troll can imagine.

      Actual evidence is not needed or desired.

      BTW, anyone who declares that Trump is an extreme capitalist, knows nothing about capitalism or communism. Then again, knowing nothing is Simon’s specialty.

    • Looks like the TDS pandemic is nearly as bad as the COVID pandemic. You’re certainly one of the infected.

      Trump may be an asshole but, I haven’t heard of the government banning caricatures of him or anything in the media that mocks him (unlike the guy who is so thin-skinned he had Winnie the Pooh banned).

      Capitalism may have its flaws but, it doesn’t have the track record of famines, mass murder and concentration camps/gulags that Communism has.

      If you can’t see that you are comparing apples to sea-cucumbers then, I’m gonna guess that you don’t think Communism is all that bad – at least not much worse than capitalism. Just ask anyone who’s ever lived under Communism about it. I’m sure they’ll be happy to explain to you just how wrong you are.

    • And another leftard toddles in to spew it’s stupidity. Keep defending CCP, they will kill you for first chance they get.

    • Except you equate a group to an individual. Then expand the individual to be indicative of a different group and then say see these two groups are the same. So faulty logic.
      Capitalism is not a form of government. Communism is. So what you were really saying is the extremes of communism and democracy have the same issues. I would agree with that which is why I am happy to live in a constitutional Republic where basic moral rights are protected and assumed to come from an authority higher than government. That is why the communists/democrats most destroy religion for they can not abide an authority that is not subject to them. If governments had not picked favorites after the slaves were freed I would imagine that the slaves descendants would be as prosperous as everyone else in this country. Things tend to balance unless the government puts it’s finger on the scale. Unfortunately gov’t is a necessary evil that must be watched.

      • ironargonaut
        “That is why the democrats most destroy religion for they can not abide an authority that is not subject to them.”
        Please name a democratic leader who wants to destroy religion? Last time I looked Biden and Obama were both practicing Christians (unlike Trump who uses them for photo shoots, when he’s not porking porn stars.)
        https://apnews.com/9f395c43d3782e14f171e0253ae76e66

        • None of them are stupid enough to say it. It’s what they do that matters.
          The courts recently ruled that Nuns have to buy health insurance that covers abortions and birth control.

          As to the rest of your nonsense, I’m guessing your just jealous that Trump is getting some action and you aren’t.

          • Mark W
            “As to the rest of your nonsense, I’m guessing your just jealous that Trump is getting some action and you aren’t.”
            From a guy who says olympic level childish dumb stuff…. that is about the most childish thing thing you have ever said. if you think screwing porn stars while your wife is giving birth is admirable and the mark of a man, then good luck to you.

        • All the ones that create movies that stereotype anyone who believes in God as a nutcase for starters. All the atheists who are not content with believing what they believe and instead try to force everyone else to follow their religion by banning any display of others. The Colorado board that put a bakery out of business because they did not wish to violate their religion. Judge ruled it was due to bakers religious beliefs and board was out right hostile to religious beliefs. The politicians who have threatened church’s tax status for various political reasons. I personally am not very religious but I respect others choice to be. I don’t keep a running list but it is not that hard to see.

        • Obama “clinging to their guns and bibles”. Goes to church when needed bashes believers when needed. Apparently many democrats agree though poll question says it nicer. “More than half of Democrats (52 percent) say that the GOP is friendly to religion, whereas fewer than a third (28 percent) of Democrats believe that their own party is friendly toward religion”
          https://www.pewforum.org/2019/11/15/many-in-u-s-see-religious-organizations-as-forces-for-good-but-prefer-them-to-stay-out-of-politics/

        • Pelosi, Schumer, Accusatory Occasional-Cortex, Ilhan Ohmar, Rashida Tailib, all of the Kennedy Klan, Cuomo, DeBlasio, Murphy, Wolfe, Newsom, Whitmer, and so on and so forth to infinity. Organized religion, with the exception of islam, is always attacked and subverted by leftists. That is why you do it.

        • You say Trump is a hypocrite yet give Pelosi a pass. The Catholic religion out right calls abortion murder. Nancy Pelosi actively supports it and attacks people who don’t. Yet to you unfaithfulness by a man who doesn’t claim to be religious is horrible but Nancy a supposed believer supporting what she believes is murder is OK. So, I stand by statement on Democrats.

  12. You know what they say about people with hammers, they see nails everywhere.

    Your language is awful, and how on earth you arrived at your racist conclusion says more about you than anything else. You’ve totally misrepresented what was said in the article, in fact the article explicitly cautions by saying:

    “The rotting corn video ban might just be a heavy handed official trying to conceal a local issue at a single storage depot”

    I’ve never seen anyone on here use racist language apart from YOU, look in the mirror Mr Salmon.

    • The video of that came from a woman who was there to inspect and make purchases for her community. She stated that as soon as she entered into the granary that she could smell the decay in the grain. The concern over this was that this storage facility is run by the largest grain supplier in China. They supply 50% of all grain used in China which means big money and vast amounts of grain. The worry is how many other granaries have problems with their grain.

      Several days later there was a story of fires breaking out in some granaries in China just as government inspectors announced that they were going to investigate the granaries. There were videos of massive plumes of thick black smoke coming from the fires. Someone stated that burning grain should not produce such black smoke unless the fire was fed by oil based products.

  13. Those that follow sun cycles have been speaking of the impact on China for a couple of years, how they have floods and famine that bring down dynasties during times of lower solar activity. They will need to import grains and there was some panic buying a while back.

  14. Yo! Einstein!
    It’s COVID and NOBODY is working…to produce food.
    If no one produces food-there is a food SHORTAGE.
    Get w/ the program and support people going BACK TO WORK PRODUCING FOOD and other things we NEED. Get it? Yes?
    Then get off your ass and call your local ‘friendly’ politicians and tell them to get w/ the program too!
    Restart the world! Restart life.
    And reopen the economies of the planet….Life is for the living and we need to get on with it!
    This is not a political game-this is life and death reality.

Comments are closed.