Slower agricultural production growth expected

Global agricultural production for all featured products is expected to grow 1.5% a year on average over the coming decade, compared with annual growth of 2.1% between 2003 and 2012.


Focus on China

China should remain self-sufficient in the main food crops, although output is anticipated to slow in the next decade.


Browse all data by country, commodity and variable.


Commodity focus

Consult the analysis and data for each commodity group.



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Overview of 2013 edition

Higher prices for agricultural products over next ten years, compared to pre-2007 decade.


Strong demand growth in developing countries; consumption to expand most rapidly in Eastern Europe, Central Asia


Emerging economies to account for majority of exports of many agricultural commodities.


Slower output growth expected for agricultural production in the coming decade.

Agricultural trade to increase

For decades, global agriculture was characterised by policy-induced production surpluses in industrialised countries and stagnating growth in developing countries. Policy reforms and economic growth across the globe have been changing demand and supply fundamentals sufficiently to turn agriculture into a more market-driven sector which provides investment opportunities, particularly in developing countries. Agricultural trade is projected to increase with developing countries capturing most of the export growth.

Productivity to slow

Expansion of agricultural production is likely to slow at least in the medium term with limited slower area expansion and slower productivity growth, but supply should keep pace with demand such that prices that are expected to remain relatively high.

In this context, measures to reduce food loss and waste will be important in meeting rising demand and for increasing productivity. 


With one-fifth of the world’s population, high income growth and a rapidly expanding agri-food sector, China is a special focus of this Outlook. Developments in Chinese agriculture will have a major influence on world markets. With increasing production constraints and strong demand growth, additional agricultural imports may be anticipated. Still, China should remain self-sufficient in the main food crops despite its very relatively limited per capita agricultural resource endowments.

Food security has improved as high income and agricultural growth has reduced the number of undernourished people from 21% in 1990 to 12% today but more still needs to be done as the economy expands.