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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. The projections and past trends are presented in the statistical annex and can be viewed in more detail at www.agri-outlook.org.

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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Outlook in Brief

Agriculture has experienced a number of severe shocks in recent years with record high oil prices, commodity price spikes, food security fears and resultant trade restrictions, not to mention the most serious global economic recession since the 1930s. The greatest impact has been on the poor, especially in developing countries, with the world’s hungry now estimated at over 1 billion people. Agriculture has shown remarkable resilience, particularly in the OECD area, with strong supply response to high prices and with continuing, albeit dampened, demand growth during the crisis. In 2010, a degree of normalcy has returned to many markets with production closer to historical levels and demand recovering. Still, many governments remain concerned about the potential for a repetition of significant shocks to such key factors as energy prices, exchange rates, and/or the macroeconomic performance of key countries and regions, and about the consequences that such shocks have on market volatility.

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