PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 755-769.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.05.002

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Change of the global grain trade network and its driving factors

GUAN Jing1,2(), SONG Zhouying1,2,*(), LIU Weidong1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-10-21 Revised:2022-01-17 Online:2022-05-28 Published:2022-07-28
  • Contact: SONG Zhouying;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871120);Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20010102)


Based on the panel data of 238 countries and regions, this study examined the change of the spatial pattern of the global grain trade network at different scales from 1988 to 2018. The zero-inflated negative binomial was introduced to construct the gravity model for analyzing the driving factors of the global grain trade network. The results show that: 1) The scale of the global grain trade showed a rapid fluctuating rising trend, while the growth rate of trade fluctuated greatly between years. The structure of trade commodities was constantly diversified but is still dominated by wheat, corn, and barley. 2) The density of the global grain trade network is increasing, with polarization of some core nodes and increasing diversification of the overall trade network. For example, the position of North America, Western Europe, East Asia, and so on, in the grain trade network is relatively declining, while the position of Eastern Europe, South America, and so on, has increased. On the national scale, the interaction of grain trade among countries and regions has enhanced, as the structure of the grain trade network has changed from an "east-west axis" to "multi-point radiation" with a gradual shift from polarization to pluralism. Although the number of core nodes in the grain export network is increasing, regional grain export networks are still dominated by only several key countries and show a strong local polarization phenomenon, while the centralized characteristics of import networks are gradually weakened and more balanced. 3) Natural endowment of land resources, the structure of agriculture, and the degree of opening up to the outside world are the core driving factors for countries and regions to participate in the global grain trade network. The levels of price differences, language proximity, spatial distance, and societal governance also have a certain impact on the participation of countries and regions in the global grain trade network. The influence of other factors is relatively small.

Key words: global grain trade, spatial change of trade network, gravity model, zero-inflated negative binomial