Just as Russia's export bans can, will and have affected world grain prices, I anticipate China - the world's largest grain producer facing it's worst drought in 60 years will be exercising a grain IMPORT mandate and anticipate this too will seriously affect world grain prices.
China isn't in the top 4 grain producers even though it's the world's largest grain producer. So, China's new demands for grain will bring a rise in grain prices. With US Central Bank chairman Ben Bernanke - my opinion - as usual missing the delicate intricacies of the mesh of fluid intercommerce interchange we call the global economy - to be fair - as Alan Greenspan points out - incomprehensible by any one person - Bernanke I believe has left no room for such error as a global grain crisis stemming from - in this case China. US inflation will hurt China's ability to import from the US. This will likely cause China to inflate their currency to trade at the same 'quality' of currency- which will decimate the Chinese real estate sector already in US terms of real estate excessive valuation- the year 2005. China will have their own problems when they face a real estate collapse of their own, but right now they're facing an agricultural crisis looming and you just can't change the facts about drought. Short OR long term - China is facing serious new dependencies on their food supply. If the US is unable to help - and Canada grain farmers are facing unrealistic costs for patented genetically modified grains ? I don't see China doing so hot, hmm - wrong word, so well in the near future. China will have to inflate it's currency to get on par with US and then US consumers will realize that the missing middle class which is really the new third world lower class can't even afford the Chinese imports at Walmart, as they price goes up from US inflation AND Yuan inflation, double whammy.
What's the way out here ? Maybe South America and Africa can come to the aid here - Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Uganda, Congo, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay in particular. If we can move from feeding the cattle grain, to growing grain for export ? (by we, I typically refer to humanity collectively, which is the 'real' in the long term, as opposed to abstract political ideologies that come and go over the centuries) ? Maybe there is a way to sustain the current 7 billion people on the planet - which will reach 10 before you can say we were not too little and not too late to bring in proper regulatory mechanisms on powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs to prey upon and manipulate grain futures- or oil for that matter (but that was Lehman) leaving profits on paper for the select few who operate without any regulation at a global level (hello world bank ? might you take interest in this ? WB would be a great place to start for global regulatory measures if you ask me on globally systemic financial corporate powerhouses), but people suffering as members of the human race.
We need less beef, and we need more regulation on futures manipulations, and we need some means of advancing emergency food growth mechanisms as we face these more common climate changes - such as Russia last year, China this year (worst in 60 years). I hope Canada and US don't face flooding this year, but with 1/2 the Greenland ice sheet gone ? I do like to ponder, that water HAD to have entered the water cycle - I'd expect heavier rains, and in places where it's hotter ? greater evaporation processes leaving lakes dry as a bone, as we are witnessing in China right now.
I'm not an economist - I'm just a software engineer who likes to problem solve.