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UN: Foodgrain Prices Will See Steady Decline In Next 10 Years

Vishwa Mohan, Times of India

A UN report has projected steady decline in prices of foodgrains over the next decade, attributing the gradual price fall to increase in overall agricultural production and diversification of dietary choices towards meat and dairy products.

The report, released last week, however, emphasized that prices of foodgrains would not fall below early 2000-levels “despite the advantageous scenario regarding global food pricing”.

It noted that additional agricultural production would be driven by use of innovative methods to improve yields in Asia, Europe and North America and by expansion of agricultural area in South America. It also said the low cost of energy during the period will bring down the input (energy and fertilizer) cost of farm production, leading to decline in prices of foodgrains. 

The ‘Agricultural Outlook 2015-2024’ is a result of collaborative effort of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. […]

The report said developing countries, excluding the least developed countries, will continue to dominate and represent 79% of additional bovine production where Brazil, India and China account for 42% of the additional production supply.

It further said “rising incomes will prompt consumers to continue diversifying their diets, notably by increasing their consumption of animal protein relative to starches”.

“As a result, the prices of meat and dairy products are expected to be high relative to crop prices. Among crops, the prices of coarse grains and oilseeds, used for animal feed, should rise relative to the prices of food staples,” it said.

Exports of agricultural commodities are projected to become concentrated in fewer countries, while imports become more dispersed over a large number of countries. Thailand is foreseen to remain the main rice exporter by 2024.

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