JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (5): 1055-1067.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20200504

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Implications from pattern and evolution of global rice trade: A complex network analysis

ZHOU Mo-zhu1,2, WANG Jie-yong1,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2019-04-02 Online:2020-05-28 Published:2020-05-28

Abstract: Based on the complex network theory and trade data from 2000 to 2016, a global rice trade network was constructed. This study quantitatively analysed pattern and evolution of the network and the role of China in global rice trade. The results show that the scale of network expanded and interdependence between nodes increased during the research period. The complexity and heterogeneity of the global rice trade network are obvious. Core nodes play leading roles in the stability of the network. The characteristics of importing countries are dispersed and volatile while those of exporting countries are centralized and stable. The global rice trade network in 2016 can be divided into six main communities. The largest one is led by India. Communities are often dominated by exporting countries and followed by importing countries inside. Geographical proximity is the most critical factor in the formation of community pattern. Trade choices of the demanding countries are becoming more important in the evolution of community structure. India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Pakistan and USA are core nodes in the network. Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia are likely to maintain leading status of global rice production and trade. The importance of West Asia and Africa may further increase. As it is the largest rice importer in the world, the influence of China in the network is growing. But the import sources of China are over concentrated. It is suggested that we should continue to tap potential of global rice trade and take advantages of trade networks. In the premise of risks controllable, we can increase imports while optimizing exports and enhancing the complexity of our trade networks so as to improve the level of domestic food security.

Key words: economic globalization, rice trade, food security, complex network