Typhoon Lekima Takes Aim at China’s Top Honey-Producing Province

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Typhoon Lekima is due to hit China’s East Coast over the next few hours, initially impacting the province of Zhejiang. The province, while overall a relatively small contributor to China’s agricultural industry, is one of the country’s biggest producers of honey.

Zhejiang produced 164,000 tonnes of honey in 2017, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, making it No. 1 in honey production. Henan province was the next largest contributor to Chinese honey output, producing 72,000 tonnes in 2017.

In other agricultural products, Zhejiang produced 3% of China’s rice and barley, according to NBS data. Zhejiang is one of China's wealthiest provinces, ranking fourth in GDP nationally and fifth by GDP per capita.

China is the world’s largest producer of honey. It produced 447,000 tonnes of honey last year, representing 30% of total world supply. Chinese honey exports totaled 128,000 tonnes, according to 2016 data from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Controversy has swirled around the industry, especially after European researchers identified a high degree of Chinese honey adulterated with other sugars or produced through other fraudulent practices.

Typhoon Lekima, which hit a maximum strength as a Category 4, Super Typhoon, on Aug. 8, slowed considerably earlier on Aug. 9 to a Category 2 Typhoon and is forecast to be downgraded to a Tropical Storm as it moves inland early Saturday, local time. The Chinese government issued a “red alert” as heavy rains and wind were expected to hit Shanghai and cause storm surging up the Yangtze River.

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