Global Food Reserves Have Reached Their Lowest Level In Almost 40 Year
October 16th, 2012
For six of the last eleven years the world has consumed more food than it has produced. This year, drought in the United States and elsewhere has put even more pressure on global food supplies than usual. As a result, global food reserves have reached their lowest level in almost 40 years. Experts are warning that if next summer is similar to this summer that it could be enough to trigger a major global food crisis. At this point, the world is literally living from one year to the next. There is simply not much of a buffer left. In the western world, the first place where we are going to notice the impact of this crisis is in the price of food. It is being projected that overall food prices will rise between 5 and 20 percent by the end of this year. It is becoming increasingly clear that the world has reached a tipping point. We aren’t producing enough food for everyone anymore, and food reserves will continue to get lower and lower. Eventually they will be totally gone.
The United Nations has issued an unprecedented warning about the state of global food supplies. According to the UN, global food reserves have not been this low since 1974…
World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned.
Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN.
“We’ve not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).