Agricultural trade can be a powerful engine for economic growth, poverty reduction, and development. However, efforts by developing countries to expand their agricultural trade are often hampered by domestic supply-side constraints such as lack of trade-related infrastructure. This report looks at some of the most important of these constraints, and features case studies from Indonesia, Zambia and Mozambique.
This study provides quantitative assessments of the impact of two structural changes that a number of market observers have identified as contributing to world wheat market price volatility. The factors examined relate to changes in demand in the large emerging countries of the BRICs (comprising Brazil, the Russian Federation, India and China).
Recent experience of highly turbulent markets has renewed interest in quantitative assessment of price volatility by stochastic simulations using the AGLINK-COSIMO model. Measuring the contribution of correlation of yield shocks to price volatility, this paper shows that correlation effects account for a significant portion of price volatility for coarse grains and wheat.
Market thinness, where there are few buying or selling offers, can contribute to price volatility. Contrary to general assumptions, agricultural commodity markets have not become 'thinner', according to this study of trade in selected commodities from 1970 to 2010.
Low stocks to use ratios of recent years were one of the contributory factors to the grain price spike in 2007-08, says this paper on international stockholding arrangements with economic provisions for stabilising world agricultural commodity prices.
Recent years have witnessed a sharp increase in many commodity prices. This report examines the question of whether commodity price volatility has materially changed with the rapid run up in world prices in 2006-09, followed by an equally sharp decline in many commodity prices.
Agriculture continues to create jobs in rural areas of South Africa, albeit mainly in low-wage occupations, and future trade liberalisation would increase employment in the agricultural sector, according to this study.
Trade in processed agricultural products, such as chocolates, steaks or wines, has increased between emerging economies, as have exports from emerging to high-income countries. However, trade in these products is still dominated by high-income countries.
South-South and Latin American regional trade agreements (RTAs) have progressed most in eliminating agricultural trade tariffs. However, the dairy, meat, sugar and cereal sectors are still often protected by exemptions such as tariff rate quotas (TRQs).
In the event of a surge in the world price of wheat or rice, policies such as additional border measures, consumer subsidies or a release of public stocks would have high costs for taxpayers and negative consequences for international markets, finds this study of ten emerging economies.