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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2010

image of OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2010

This is the sixteenth edition of the Agricultural Outlook and the sixth co-edition prepared by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This edition covers the outlook for commodity markets during the 2010 to 2019 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 for biofuels. It provides an assessment of agricultural market prospects for production, consumption, trade, stocks, and prices of the commodities analysed.

The macroeconomic assumptions that condition the commodity projections examined are more positive in this year’s edition as compared to last year. The anticipated return to global economic growth, a rising population, emerging biofuel markets, and a higher cost structure are expected to underpin international commodity markets and prices over the outlook period under study. Developing countries are expected to be the driving force behind the expected growth in agricultural production, consumption and trade.

This year’s report also includes a special section on price volatility and price transmission from world to domestic markets. Governments are concerned about price volatility because it affects farm viability, food security and needed investment. The report analyses the evidence of and changes in price volatility over the longer term and summarises policy advice from both FAO and OECD on this issue.

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Macroeconomic and Policy Assumptions

As this year’s Agricultural Outlook is being prepared, the macroeconomic situation has improved considerably compared with the same period last year. At that time, the world was undergoing its greatest economic downturn since World War II with persistent and frequent downward revisions to the short term economic Outlook from continuing turmoil in the financial sector that spilled to the real economy. However, with policy interventions in major economies through massive fiscal stimulus to shore up domestic demand, loose monetary policies that kept interest rates at very low levels and massive infusion of liquidity to help shore up the balance sheets of the banking and manufacturing sectors, the worst fears from that time were averted.

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