The drought in China’s major wheat production area is continuing, and now approaches the worst in two centuries. China may not be able to feed itself. If China is forced to import wheat, this will put still more pressure on global food prices, already at a record high.
The floods in Australia contributed to the rise in prices, but more significant was last summer’s heat wave in Russia.
Russia issued a ban last summer on grain exports because of their drought, which slashed the wheat harvest by 40% and damaged soils to such an extent that 10% of Russian wheat fields could not be planted this year. The Russian heat wave of 2010 is now estimated by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters to be the deadliest in human history, with 55,736 deaths.
More detail from Jeff Masters at the link.
The graph is from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.