A global food industry faces a starkly different picture from one it experienced when it was still a growing player in the global food supply chain, according to a report released on Tuesday by the global trade body that represents the largest global producers of grains, meat and seafood.
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) released its annual global food trends report for the third year running on Tuesday, with the findings pointing to the growing challenges for the global supply chain.
It also said that as China’s economic growth stalls, the growth of global food production will slow.
FoodstuffsGlencoe’s global food supplies fell by a fifth during the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year, a decline of 4.5 per cent, according the report, which said China’s rapid growth in urbanisation, increased demand for rice and meat and growing pressure on global markets.
“We are seeing a clear slowdown in global food demand growth as China continues to experience a period of economic hardship,” IFAIC said in a statement.
The report also said China, the world’s second largest food exporter, was the world leader in rice exports, and the top rice importer, followed by Japan, the fourth largest exporter.”
China’s economic slowdown will only continue to accelerate in the years ahead, as the country continues to build new infrastructure and modernise its agriculture, and as China seeks to expand its own rice production and use more water resources.”
The report also said China, the world’s second largest food exporter, was the world leader in rice exports, and the top rice importer, followed by Japan, the fourth largest exporter.
China’s rice exports to Japan are forecast to grow by an average of 3.5 percent in 2019, up from 1.6 percent in the previous year, the report said.
The report also found that China’s rice imports from Japan increased by a record $8.6 billion last year to reach $27.9 billion.
It also noted that as Japan expanded its rice production, the United States and Europe also increased their rice exports.
“The rise in Chinese rice exports and the U.S. and European increases reflect the global resurgence of global rice production in recent years,” IFIC said.
China is expected to overtake Japan as the world rice exporter in 2019.IFAIC is not the first organisation to highlight the growing risks of China’s slowing food growth and its impact on global supply chains.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) last month said it expected China’s population growth to slow to a near-steady rate of 7.4 million in 2021.
It said that although the slowing population growth in China has been largely attributed to an ageing population, the impact of slowing population and the slowing economy has been felt more widely in the food supply system.
“It is likely that the impact will be most pronounced in the supply chains of the world and regions that rely heavily on rice for their food supply, including China, India, Latin America and Africa,” the report warned.
China has a population of 1.25 billion people and more than 1.2 billion dependents.
Its growing urbanisation has been blamed for slowing demand for foodstamps and other foodstamp payments.
The IFAI said the slowing growth of the population is also affecting global demand for meat and poultry.
It pointed to the continuing rapid growth of meat production in China and in other countries, which it said could be exacerbated by a lack of healthy meat choices.
China also has the world at its disposal, IFAIF said, with more than 70 percent of the food produced in the country is imported, up to 45 percent from just two percent in 2015.