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World Food Costs at Risk of Soaring as China Faces Tough Harvest

  • A power shortage is hitting nation’s top corn and soy regions
  • Some grain, oilseed processing plants have been suspended
Soybean Sales at a Wholesale Grain Market
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China is set for a difficult harvest season as a severe energy crunch hurts the outlook for booming production, a development that risks triggering a renewed surge in world agriculture and food prices. 

Autumn harvest in the top agricultural producer is underway just as the world’s No. 2 economy faces power shortages in industrial hubs that threaten to slow growth. Among the worst hit are northeastern provinces such as Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang -- where about half of China’s corn and soybeans are grown.