Tridge aims to assist buyers around the globe import food and agricultural products efficiently by providing a “Tridge Fulfillment Solution”. We keep a track of intelligence insights and data across different countries in the world which helps us understand the latest dynamics of the food and agriculture industry. The intelligence teams accounted for many such extreme weather conditions which affected the production and export volumes of these leading countries. The article provides a snapshot of these events in each continent.
Climate change is expected to hamper tea production in Kenya, the largest supplier of black tea in the world. Rising temperatures and extreme rainfall in the country are likely to threaten the livelihoods of millions of plantation workers along with affecting the volume and quality of tea available globally. Kenya, the global black tea powerhouse, is under threat from climate change. It is expected that optimal tea growing conditions will be reduced by 26% by 2050 and the tea production in Kenya’s average tea-growing areas is likely to fall by 39% by 2050.
The prices in the largest potato producing and exporting country - South Africa surged by over 20% in the second week of September due to low supply. In some regions, the price of one 10 kg bag was 40% more than the same period the previous year. The low supply was an aftermath of prolonged frost and heavy rains during a critical planting season across potato-producing regions in the country. The uncertain weather conditions have weighed on production and reduced the quantity and quality of this year’s potato harvest.
Jinxiang county - the largest garlic-producing region of China witnessed rainfall in the last week of October due to severe flooding in the growing areas. The domestic and export price of Chinese garlic as the quantity, as well as the quality, are impacted negatively by the rainfall. During the first eight months of 2021, China exported 104 thousand metric tons of garlic which are 29.13% less than the volume recorded during the same period of 2020. The future of China’s garlic production and exports will be dependent on the coming year’s weather and rainfall as the crop is highly sensitive to rains and extreme temperatures.
Rice producers in Thailand are diversifying away from traditional long-grain varieties due to uncertain agro-climatic conditions in the country. The shift was primarily driven by reduced rainfall in the last two seasons which pushed down the Thai milled rice production by 13% in 2021 as compared to the previous seasons. The farmers need to adapt by moving away from older seeds and experimenting with newer climate-resilient varieties which require fewer inputs and produce higher yields. The Thai government has benefited from new drought-resistant, high-yielding "soft cooking" varieties popular in the Vietnamese rice industry and promoting them to rice farmers.
As per The National Union of French Beekeeping (UNAF), 2021 has been the worst year for beekeepers in more than 50 years. There was extreme cold and frost, excessive rainfall, and persistent northerly winds in France which adversely impacted the flowering of pollen-producing plants and kept bees from gathering pollen. The 2021 honey crop was expected to be between 7,000 to 9,000 which is significantly less than half the 18,000 to 20,000 MT of 2020.
Record-breaking snow and a cold snap in Spain halted the on-going vegetable harvest in Murcia. Murcia had supplied 80% of Europe's fresh produce during the winter months and were under a snow blanket. Due to extremely cold weather, the harvest stopped which created a shortage of vegetables and inflated the prices. Adding to the problem, there had been road blockages and delays in travels due to heaps of snow on the roads.
Drought had affected western North America, from Canada to California and Mexico, affecting pastures and hay crops needed for cattle fattening. This drought affected cattle production and beef exports from the region. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a third of the country’s cattle had been in drought areas and producers decided to send animals to slaughter. Such liquidations limited cattle production in the coming years, limiting North America’s beef supply and pushing consumer prices up.
Hurricane Ida caused flooding and damage to the USA's busiest agricultural port, which accounts for approximately 60% of the country’s exports. The US is the world’s largest corn supplier, and as the country approached its corn and soybean harvest season, global supplies were limited and Chinese demand was strong. Grain elevators and port terminals struggled with outages and damage, and this hampered exports.
A prolonged drought in Canada severely affected crops in the country. Canola and wheat production fell, and other global suppliers such as Australia benefited from Canada’s reduced output. A large portion of Canada’s yearly wheat and canola production was exported. China is Canada’s main customer, and the Asian country looked to Canada’s trade rivals, such as Australia, for products to fill the gap created by Canada’s reduction in production and exports. Canola reserves were also limited in Canada, as supplies of the oilseed at the end of 2020 reduced by 24% year on year, reaching an eight-year low, with wheat stocks dipping by 4% year on year, hitting a three-year low.
According to Australia’s weather bureau, the La Nina that persisted for six months, yielding more significant rainfall and cooler than average temperatures across the country’s east coast, had subsided. While the event was blamed for the recent devastating floods across Australia’s east coast earlier this month that had hampered wheat trade from the region, the wetter weather also drove record wheat production during the 2020/21 season. In the long run, the rainfall improved the soil moisture conditions for the winter planting period as seeds sown in wet soil typically had better yield prospects. The heaviest rainfall and flooding were experienced in the east of the Great Dividing Range, a mountain range along the east coast, while most of the wheat production was to the west, leading to supply chain issues. Producers faced logistical challenges delivering grain from inland to local end-users in the rest of the country, as major highways had been blocked off. There were also delays in export cargoes as it was difficult to load during the rains. Trains were halted, and ships were unable to enter Newcastle harbor, causing further delays. Sorghum, a summer crop in Australia, was being harvested, and fields close to the rivers and waterways were partially washed out, causing damage to the crops. Some crops witnessed a more significant impact, and there was still the probability of floods around the rivers. However, all things considered, the heavy rainfall was welcomed as the devastated area was outside of the production regions.
Australia had maintained its position as the second-largest beef exporter in the world, but ever since devastating droughts had plagued the country in recent years, it faced fierce competition from top South American exporters - Brazil and Argentina. Brazil already climbed to the top in the beef export market, displacing Australia in one of its biggest Asian markets, China, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Droughts affecting beef supplies were not new in Australia. Drought conditions from 2014-15, had a lasting impact on the beef industry as most of the cattle are grass-fed. After two continuous years of drought, Australia received well-deserved rains in 2020, which initiated the rebuilding of its cattle herd. However, Australia faced competition from South America with its lower-priced beef, especially within the Chinese market.
The price of soybeans on the Chicago Stock Exchange traded higher as traders anticipated a short-term supply crisis due to adverse weather in some regions of South America. With warm and dry conditions in Argentina and incessant delayed rains in Brazil that slowed down the harvest, operators became aware of possible yield losses and anticipate a significant reduction in the supply. In Brazil, the world's leading soybean exporter, the meteorological firm Maxar, officially stated that rainfalls delayed the soybean harvest, to continue through the second week of March. While the rainfall was exceptionally beneficial to the soybean crop’s early and middle-stage development, it hindered the maturity of late-stage planted beans, which is why the rain at this stage delayed the harvest.
The banana sector in Ecuador, which despite the health crisis in 2020 grew by 5.6%, started the year with a drop of 2.4% in exports in comparison to the previous year. Political tensions, volcano eruptions, and unfavorable weather conditions in the country contributed to a gradual increase in prices for bananas worldwide. At the same time, reductions in imports for bananas in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East have caused Ecuador's exports to drop in Q1, as these countries have been affected by high prices and a reduction of import licenses.
Last week Brazil was hit with the strongest polar cold front this winter. Bringing frosts up to Goias state. The unfavorable weather conditions hit hard the main agriculture producing regions in Brazil, the production volume of major crops: Coffee, Sugar cane, and Corn yields decreased at the end of the season. To worsen the situation, there was another severe cold front in the upcoming week.
The impact of climate change will fall hardest on countries that have agriculture depending economies as lower production will impact their ability to export and competitiveness in the global market. During the summit, a coalition of funders at the United Nations climate summit pledged USD 575 million to deliver climate-smart solutions to farmers in low-income countries through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) global network of agricultural research partnerships. There is a need to intensity the funding towards the development and adaption of climate-resilient agriculture to overcome these challenges in the coming years.