Skip to content
Subscriber Only

China Crops in Short Supply as Fewer Farms Spur Food Prices

Across the road from Zhao Yuanyi’s wheat field in China’s Shandong province, Chonche Group is expanding a rail-car factory on what used to be 227 hectares of farms. Nearby, Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. makes sedans on an 87 hectare site that four years ago was covered by crops.

The factories sprawling from Jinan city, 350 kilometers (220 miles) south of Beijing, put Zhao on the front line of a clash between a policy of food self-sufficiency and industrial growth that made China the world’s second-biggest economy. Industrialization is winning, signaling prices for crops like wheat and corn will rise as China is increasingly unable to feed itself and vies for supplies on global markets.