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Could China’s Grain Hoard Become a Geopolitical Tool?

Image via Bloomberg

Russia’s war on Ukraine is increasingly being hitting African food security, and raising political tensions in the process. For example, Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat and gets half of its supply from Russia and Ukraine. This is also true for Kenya, which imports 30% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine, and where rising consumer prices fuels wider concerns about the national budget.

China plays a surprisingly large part in this issue. Beijing has quietly been stockpiling grains over the last few years. By 2019, this hoard has grown to 150 million tons – about half of the world’s supply. The amount is enough to satisfy China’s domestic demand for 18 months.

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