Authorities in central China have blasted a dam to release surging waters behind it amid widespread flooding across the country that has claimed scores of lives. State broadcaster CCTV reported the dam on the Chuhe River in Anhui province was destroyed with explosives early on Sunday morning, after which the water level was expected to drop by more than 2 feet. Water levels on many rivers, including the mighty Yangtze, have been unusually high this year because of torrential rains. Blasting dams and embankments to discharge from water was an extreme response employed during China’s worst floods in recent years in 1998, when more than 2,000 people died and almost 3 million homes were destroyed.
The flooding is also impacting crop lands in the region. This has some commodity market analysts pointing towards a reason China has been aggressively buying commodities recently. Last week China made one of the largest corn purchases on record from the US (1,762,000 MT for delivery in the 2020/2021 marketing year).