From some of the largest mergers and acquisitions in industry history to one of the strongest El Niño weather phenomena, it was a tumultuous year for global agriculture. Here are five of our favorite Gro charts from 2016:
West Africa's Growing Taste for Rice
As covered in a previous insight, West Africa’s consumption of rice has grown by nearly 70% over the past decade. As rice’s popularity continues to boom in the region, domestic production struggles to keep up despite nearly doubling over the same period of time. Not a single nation in the region is self-sufficient when it comes to this grain.
French Wine Freeze
French wine production is expected to drop by more than 10% in 2016. Generally unfavorable weather contributed to the decline, and particularly unseasonable cold temperatures at the end of April led to frost damage to wine grapes. The key producing region of Champagne was hit particularly hard with daytime temperatures dropping below 5 °C (41 °F) and night temperatures dropping below freezing.
America's Ailing Honey Industry
As demand for natural sweeteners in the United States continues to lift retail prices to historic highs, domestic producers have struggled to satiate demand in part due to Colony Collapse Disorder. The disease, which prompts worker bees to leave their colonies and never return, comes at a time of growing demand and has fueled a US import boom.
Global Sugar Rush
Sugar prices have nearly doubled from August 2015 to October 2016, hitting a four-year high, after the second straight year of shortfall in production and declining stock quantities. The 2016 sugar harvest in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, was hampered by a premature harvest and crushing after mid-year frosts. India, the world’s second-largest producer, struggled with output as a result of an extended drought through 2016.
El Niño and South Africa
As we first covered in an Insight in 2015, experts are now referring to South Africa’s 2015-16 El Niño-induced drought as the country’s worst on record. Despite exporting a net 2.4 million tonnes of corn in 2012, South Africa was forced to import over 1.8 million net tonnes of corn in 2015 due to rainfall that, in its worst month, was over 45 mm below normal. As our weather data indicates, abnormally low rainfall continued well into 2016.