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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2008

image of OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2008

This 2008 edition of the OECD/FAO Agricultural Outlook covers the outlook for commodity markets during the 2008 to 2017 period, and brings together the commodity, policy and country expertise of both Organisations. The report analyses world market trends for the main agricultural products, as well as biofuels and provides an assessment of agricultural market prospects for production, consumption, trade, stocks and prices of the included commodities.  This publication includes Statlinks, URLs linking to Excel® spreadsheet files containing background data, as well as a special chapter on high prices which analyses whether they are here to stay. The market projections cover OECD countries, as well as other key agricultural players including India, China, Brazil, the Russian Federation and Argentina, and many other non-OECD countries and regions.  In total, the projections encompass 39 countries and 19 regions.

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Are High Prices here to Stay?

World prices of maize, wheat and oilseed crops all nearly doubled in nominal terms between the 2005 and 2007 marketing years (Figure 2.1). Those prices continued rising into early 2008, competing with oil-price hikes in capturing media and policy attention. These developments have led to a fuller awareness and a justifiably heightened concern about food security and hunger, especially for developing countries where food availability at affordable prices is precarious. The analysis in this chapter does not attempt a comprehensive explanation of all of the factors responsible for the recent run up in prices. Rather the focus of the discussion is predominantly on the contribution – qualitative or quantitative – of various factors in determining price developments over the medium term.

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