October 10, 2003



US Predicted International Shortage of Grain May Bring Chaos



A US key non-governmental organisation is predicting an international shortage of grain could cause chaos in world markets.


The Earth Policy Institute says the world grain harvest has fallen short of consumption for the fourth year in a row, and grain stocks are at their lowest level in 30 years.


President Lester Brown says production is falling due to rising temperatures and falling water tables, at the same time as demand is growing by 15m tons each year.


He says developing countries are the main buyers of grain, with another shortage next year that may start to destabilise markets.


"The concern is that if we face another huge crop shortfall next year, which would be the third large one in a row, it would destabilise grain markets and destabilise governments in third world countries, perhaps even on a scale that would disrupt economic progress," he said.