OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2009

image of OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2009
This 15th edition of the Agricultural Outlook edition presents the outlook for commodity markets during the 2009 to 2018 period, and analyses world market trends for the main agricultural products, as well as biofuels. It provides an assessment of agricultural market prospects for production, consumption, trade, stocks and prices of the included commodities. 

This edition of the Outlook was prepared in a period of unprecedented financial market turmoil and rapidly deteriorating global economic prospects. Because macroeconomic conditions are changing so quickly, this report complements the standard baseline projections with an analysis of revised short–term GDP prospects and alternative GDP recovery paths. Lower GDP scenarios result in lower commodity prices, with reductions in crop and biofuel prices about one-half those for livestock products. A sensitivity analysis to highly uncertain crude oil prices shows the important links between energy and agricultural prices. The Outlook also reports on a survey of various actors in the agri-food chain in terms of the current impacts of the global economic crisis and credit market constraints.

The issue of food security and the capacity of the agricultural sector to meet the rising demand for food remains very high on the international political agenda.  This report provides a brief overview of critical factors such as land availability, productivity gains, water usage and climate change, and suggests that agricultural production could be significantly increased, provided there is sufficient investment in research, infrastructure and technological change, particularly in developing countries.

English Also available in: French, Spanish



Cereal markets in 2008 endured an exceptionally turbulent year. Prices climbed to historically high levels in nominal terms and then fell sharply. Wheat prices soared to their peak in March, rice peaked in May while the run up in maize prices continued through June 2008. The high cereal prices encouraged farmers to increase plantings and this, together with favourable weather conditions in many important growing regions, boosted world cereal production to a new record in 2008. But the increase in crop production was not the only reason for the decline in international prices. Driven by financial crisis in the United States, and a spreading economic slowdown, crude oil prices tumbled after reaching a peak in July. The decline in energy prices contributed to a slower production growth of biofuels than anticipated earlier which, in turn, reduced feedstock demand below previous expectations, particularly of maize for the production of ethanol in the United States. Lower crude oil prices had a substantial impact on the price of maize (and wheat) which ethanol producers have been willing to pay for feedstock. At the same time, the US dollar began to rebound against major currencies and this development also put further downward pressure on prices, particularly on export prices of wheat and major coarse grains. By the end of 2008, the sum of these macroeconomic factors became the dominant feature, shaping price movements of nearly all commodities, cereals included. The severe world economy slowdown and shrinking global liquidity forced investors and speculators to flee the commodities markets, a possible further downward pressure on prices especially in wheat and maize markets. On the other hand, rice prices have continued to be influenced by government policies in major exporting countries.

English Also available in: French

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