A number of countries, including China, are stockpiling for an uncertain pandemic season amid concerns over whether the global supply chain for food can remain intact as COVID-19 cases rise worldwide.
World food prices have been rising for four straight months, according to a United Nations price index. Countries importing grains to boost their pandemic stockpiles include Egypt, Jordan, Taiwan and others.
In times of uncertainty, people are more likely to hoard, according to Stephanie Preston, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.
“I think people are trying to protect their own interests, which in some ways is rational,” Preston said. “Even if it can cause what they call a ‘commons problem,’ where then there’s not enough for everybody.”
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