How bad will the global food crisis get? | 全球粮食危机会有多严重? - FT中文网
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17周年大视野精选
【高端限免】How bad will the global food crisis get?
全球粮食危机会有多严重?

Food commodity prices are falling, but experts say global production and hunger rates might be even worse in 2023 | 食品价格正在下降,但专家表示,2023年全球产量和饥饿率可能会更糟。

Has the high price of food passed a peak? Even before the UN-brokered grain deal between Kyiv and Moscow gave the green light last week for shipments to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, food commodity prices had been plummeting. Fears of recession, a bumper harvest in Russia and hopes of revived grain trade flows have pushed prices lower.
食品的高价是否已经过了一个高峰?在联合国斡旋下,基辅和莫斯科上周达成了一项谷物协议,允许货物离开乌克兰的黑海港口。在此之前,食品价格就已经大幅下跌。对经济衰退的担忧、俄罗斯的大丰收以及对恢复粮食贸易的希望都压低了价格。
But the price declines do not mean the food crisis is over. Analysts say the underlying factors that drove markets higher are unchanged. The ongoing war is only one of a multitude of problems that could sustain higher hunger rates for many years to come.
但价格下跌并不意味着粮食危机已经结束。分析人士说,推动市场走高的根本因素没有改变。正在进行的战争只是众多问题中的一个,这些问题可能会在未来多年维持较高的饥饿率。
The Ukraine conflict came at a time when food prices were already being pushed upwards by a range of factors — mainly droughts affecting key crop-producing countries and supply chains dealing with the residual effects of the pandemic. In poorer countries whose economies have been left in tatters by Covid-19 lockdowns, the war only exacerbated a grim situation.
乌克兰冲突发生之时,粮食价格已经被一系列因素推高——主要是影响关键粮食生产国的干旱,以及应对疫情残余影响的供应链。在经济因新冠疫情封锁而陷入困境的较贫穷国家,战争加剧了严峻的形势。
“What sets this global food crisis apart from previous similar situations is that there are multiple major causes behind it,” says Cary Fowler, the US special envoy for food security.
美国粮食安全特使卡里•福勒(Cary Fowler)表示:“这次全球粮食危机与以往类似情况的不同之处在于,它背后有多种主要原因。”
The true impact of this combination of factors will only become apparent next year, analysts say. “I’m more worried about 2023 than 2022,” says one.
分析人士表示,这一系列因素的真正影响要到明年才会显现出来。“我更担心2023年,而不是2022年,”其中一人说。

Storm clouds on the horizon

地平线上的风暴云

The war has undoubtedly been a big drag on global food production. With Ukraine’s ports blockaded and capacity on alternative routes limited, export volumes are significantly down. In June, the country exported just under 1mn tonnes of wheat, corn and barley, 40 per cent lower than the same month in 2021, according to Ukraine’s agriculture ministry.
战争无疑是对全球粮食生产的一大拖累。由于乌克兰的港口被封锁,替代路线的能力有限,出口量大幅下降。根据乌克兰农业部的数据,6月份,该国出口了不到100万吨的小麦、玉米和大麦,比2021年同月减少40%。
Ukraine’s harvest started this month and growers are scrambling for storage for the new crop. But if farmers cannot sell their grains, it will have a knock-on effect into 2023 as they will not have the funds to pay for seeds and fertiliser for the next season. They may not even have a crop, warns an international food policy official.
乌克兰本月开始收获新作物,种植者正在为新作物争抢储藏空间。但如果农民卖不出他们的粮食,将会产生连锁反应,直到2023年,因为他们将没有资金购买下一季的种子和化肥。一名国际粮食政策官员警告说,他们甚至可能没有作物。
The high commodity prices seen in late spring may have incentivised greater production elsewhere. But that will be offset by the surge in input costs for many farmers, especially fertilisers and diesel used for transportation and farm equipment.
春季末出现的大宗商品价格高企可能刺激了其他地区的更大生产。但这将被许多农民投入成本的飙升所抵消,尤其是用于运输和农业设备的化肥和柴油。
Food policy officials warn that soaring energy prices, which are expected to rise further over the winter, have also hit the production of nitrogen fertiliser, a key crop nutrient.
粮食政策官员警告说,飙升的能源价格(预计在冬季会进一步上涨)也打击了氮肥的生产,而氮肥是一种关键的作物营养物质。
“If we don’t sort out [the issue with] agricultural inputs — in particular fertilisers —  then the crisis of affordability will turn into a crisis of availability come next year,” warns Arif Husain, chief economist at the UN World Food Programme.
联合国世界粮食计划署(UN World Food Programme)首席经济学家阿里夫•侯赛因(Arif Husain)警告称:“如果我们不解决农业投入(尤其是化肥)的(问题),那么明年,农业投入的负担能力危机,将转变为供应能力危机。”
So far, the main concern about food has been grain supplies, especially the wheat and vegetable oils of which Ukraine is a large exporter. But some analysts are concerned about the price of rice, the cornerstone of diets across Asia.
到目前为止,对粮食的主要担忧是粮食供应,特别是乌克兰是小麦和植物油出口大国的小麦和植物油。但一些分析人士担心大米的价格,大米是整个亚洲饮食的基石。
For now, there are high levels of inventories in leading producing countries such as India, Thailand and Vietnam. However, there are worries about export restrictions, if the high cost of wheat prompts more consumers to turn to rice as a substitute.
目前,印度、泰国和越南等主要产米国的库存水平很高。但是,如果小麦的高成本促使更多的消费者转向使用大米作为替代品,那么人们就会担心出口限制。
Only about 10 per cent of total global production of the grain is exported, so a restriction by any one exporter can have an outsized impact on international prices.
全球粮食总产量只有约10%用于出口,因此任何一个出口国的限制都可能对国际粮价产生巨大影响。
In 2007-08, export restrictions by India and Vietnam combined with panic buying by large rice importers, such as the Philippines, leading to prices more than doubling.
2007-08年,印度和越南的出口限制,加上菲律宾等大米进口大国的恐慌性抢购,导致大米价格上涨了一倍以上。
“We are monitoring rice prices closely,” say analysts at Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, adding: “If rising wheat prices lead to substitution towards rice, this could lower existing stocks, trigger restrictions by key producers and lead to higher rice prices over time.” Officials are also watching fertiliser availability for rice production in Asia.
“我们正在密切关注大米价格,”日本投资银行野村证券(Nomura)的分析师表示,并补充称:“如果小麦价格上涨导致大米被替代,这可能会降低现有库存,引发主要生产商的限制措施,并随着时间的推移导致大米价格上涨。”官员们也在关注亚洲水稻生产的肥料供应情况。

The human effects

人为因素

Long before Russia invaded Ukraine, food insecurity was at record levels. Due to the pandemic, droughts and other regional conflicts, just under 770mn went hungry in 2021, the highest number since 2006, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
早在俄罗斯入侵乌克兰之前,粮食不安全就处于创纪录水平。根据联合国粮农组织的数据,由于新冠疫情、干旱和其他地区冲突,近7.7亿人在2021年挨饿,这是自2006年以来的最高数字。
The FAO predicts the war in Ukraine will raise the number of undernourished people by up to 13mn this year and another 17mn in 2023. According to the World Bank, for every 1 percentage point increase in food prices, an additional 10mn people are expected to fall into extreme poverty.
联合国粮农组织预测,乌克兰战争今年将使营养不良人口增加1300万人,2023年将再增加1700万人。根据世界银行的数据,食品价格每上涨1个百分点,就会有1000万人陷入极端贫困。
Across much of Africa, the Middle East and central Asia, consumption of staples outweighs production. It is countries in these regions that are most exposed to global price rises, according to commodity data group Gro Intelligence. Many emerging economies are facing the additional burden of a decline in their currencies on top of rising food prices.
在非洲、中东和中亚的大部分地区,对主食的消费超过了生产。大宗商品数据集团Gro Intelligence表示,受全球价格上涨影响最大的正是这些地区的国家。除了食品价格上涨外,许多新兴经济体还面临着货币贬值的额外负担。
The impact on countries in the Middle East and Africa that depend on imports from Ukraine and Russia has been stark. Egypt has turned to the IMF for aid, inflation in Turkey has surged to almost 80 per cent while the World Bank has described the crisis in Lebanon as one of the most severe of the past 100 years.
这对依赖从乌克兰和俄罗斯进口的中东和非洲国家造成了严重影响。埃及已向国际货币基金组织(IMF)寻求援助,土耳其通胀率飙升至近80%,而世界银行(World Bank)则将黎巴嫩危机描述为过去100年来最严重的危机之一。
Even countries that do not buy from Russia or Ukraine but are high net importers of agricultural commodities are facing higher import costs. The price of staple foods such as bread, pasta and cooking oils have been rising fastest. A loaf of bread in Bulgaria cost almost 50 per cent more in June than it did a year earlier. Cooking oils in Spain are almost twice as expensive now than they were a year ago and sugar prices in Poland have risen by 40 per cent.
即便是那些不从俄罗斯或乌克兰购买农产品,但农产品净进口国数量较高的国家,也面临着进口成本上升的问题。面包、意大利面和食用油等主食的价格上涨最快。保加利亚6月份一条面包的价格比去年同期上涨了近50%。西班牙现在的食用油价格几乎是一年前的两倍,波兰的食糖价格上涨了40%。
In lower income countries where food makes up a large portion of consumer spending, cutting back to compensate for rising costs of living is much harder. In Egypt, where food and non-alcoholic drinks account for more than a third of household spending, people are facing food price rises of 24 per cent. In Ethiopia, where the budget on food is even higher, food inflation is 38 per cent.
在食品支出占消费者支出很大一部分的低收入国家,削减开支以补偿不断上涨的生活成本要困难得多。在食品和非酒精饮料占家庭支出三分之一以上的埃及,人们面临着食品价格上涨24%的问题。在食品预算占比更高的埃塞俄比亚,食品价格上涨了38%。
“If you live in a country where, on a good day, you spend upwards of 50 to 60 per cent of your disposable income on food. There’s not much space left after that to deal with a shock of this magnitude,” says Husain.
“如果你生活在这样一个国家,日子好过的时候,你会把可支配收入的50%至60%以上花在食物上。在那之后,没有多少空间来应对这种规模的冲击,”侯赛因说。
In Africa especially, “there is a risk of famine next year,” says Gilbert Houngbo, president of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development. This in turn “could create social unrest and mass economic migration,” he adds.
联合国国际农业发展基金(UN International Fund for Agricultural Development)主席吉尔伯特•洪博(Gilbert Houngbo)表示,尤其是在非洲,“明年有发生饥荒的风险”。他补充说,这反过来“可能会造成社会动荡和大规模的经济移民”。
Food price spikes in 2007-08 and in 2010-11 each resulted in riots around the world, and sky-high food prices were a key factor in the unrest that recently gripped Sri Lanka. Other worst-affected governments have so far managed to keep a lid on social unrest by using subsidies.
2007-08年和2010-11年的食品价格飙升都导致了世界各地的骚乱,而飙升的食品价格是最近发生在斯里兰卡的骚乱的一个关键因素。到目前为止,其他受影响最严重的政府已经设法利用补贴来控制社会动荡。
“That’s provided a Band-Aid,” says Michael Pond, analyst at Barclays. “But at some point, the pressure might be so strong that governments can’t provide that Band-Aid. And that’s where things could boil over,” he adds.
巴克莱(Barclays)分析师迈克尔•庞德(Michael Pond)表示:“这是一个创可贴。但在某种程度上,压力可能太大,政府无法提供那种创可贴。这就是形势可能爆发的地方,”他补充说。

No return to normal

不会恢复正常

Not everyone thinks the crisis will become more severe. Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley issued an optimistic report on the future of food prices, suggesting increases in 2023 will be lower than expected. Increased grain production by farmers, including in Ukraine as tensions ease, will temper food inflation, the report said.
并非所有人都认为危机会变得更加严重。本月早些时候,摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)发布了一份关于未来食品价格的乐观报告,暗示2023年的食品价格涨幅将低于预期。报告说,随着紧张局势的缓和,包括乌克兰在内的农民增加粮食产量,将缓和食品通胀。
Yet while some international traders are hopeful that the reopening of the Black Sea trading route for Ukrainian grains could signal the start of a “de facto ceasefire”, there is still uncertainty over Russia’s intentions. It is continuing to attack areas around Ukrainian ports.
然而,尽管一些国际贸易商希望重新开放乌克兰谷物的黑海贸易路线可能标志着“事实上的停火”的开始,但俄罗斯的意图仍然存在不确定性。它正在继续攻击乌克兰港口周围的地区。
And even if the war were to end tomorrow, Ukraine’s agricultural and port infrastructure need to be rebuilt and the waters off its coastline demined. The country’s farmers may not be able or willing to come back to work on their land.
即使战争明天就结束,乌克兰的农业和港口基础设施也需要重建,海岸线附近的水域也需要排雷。该国的农民可能无法或不愿意回到自己的土地上工作。
Many western government officials and analysts expect the current food crisis to last years, with the war coming on top of climate change, the pandemic and other conflicts around the world. “Any one of these factors that have pushed food inflation [higher] could continue,” says Pond.
许多西方政府官员和分析人士预计,目前的粮食危机将持续数年,因为在气候变化、大流行病和世界各地的其他冲突之外,又叠加了战争的因素。庞德说:“这些推动食品通胀[走高]的因素中的任何一个,都可能持续下去。”
Diversifying import sources among countries, which were reliant on Ukraine for grains and vegetable oils, means that prices will remain elevated for longer, and the story will be similar in energy, says Laura Wellesley, senior research fellow at Chatham House. “The overall picture looks like one of tightening supply and high prices, without any likelihood of let-up any time soon.”
英国皇家国际事务研究所(Chatham House)高级研究员韦尔斯利(Laura Wellesley)说,在粮食和植物油依赖乌克兰的国家之间实现进口来源多元化,意味着价格将在更长时间内保持高位,能源方面的情况也会类似。“整体形势看起来是供应趋紧、价格高企,短期内不可能有所缓解。”
Consumers may need to get used to permanently higher food prices, economists warn. Capital Economics forecasts that market levels will “remain at historically high prices” due to the increased volatility in the weather. “It’s undeniable that we’re seeing lower yields and harvests” over the past few years due to the growing impact of climate change, says Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at the research firm.
经济学家警告说,消费者可能需要习惯食品价格的永久上涨。资本经济(Capital Economics)预测,由于天气波动加剧,市场价格将“保持在历史高位”。该研究公司首席大宗商品经济学家卡罗琳•贝恩(Caroline Bain)表示,由于气候变化的影响越来越大,过去几年“不可否认的是,我们看到了产量和收成下降”。
Some analysts wonder whether the conflict has started a process of dismantling a trade system designed to deliver low cost goods, including food commodities, to all corners of the globe.
一些分析人士想知道,这场冲突是否开启了一个进程,摧毁了一个旨在向全球各地运送包括食品在内的低成本商品的贸易体系。
The global food trading system that allowed us to access all kinds of foods is not set to return to normal any time soon, says Wellesley. “That in turn likely means continued high food and fertiliser prices and a reconfiguration of trade dependencies, perhaps with a greater focus on more regional supply chains.”
韦尔斯利说,使我们能够获得各种食品的全球食品交易体系不会很快恢复正常。“这进而可能意味着食品和化肥价格将持续走高,贸易依赖关系将重新配置,或许会更加关注区域性供应链。”
Additional reporting by Federica Cocco in London
费代丽卡·科科(Federica Cocco)伦敦补充报道
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