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OECD and FAO see slower growth in demand keeping world food prices low

Global food commodity prices are projected to remain low over the next decade compared to previous peaks, as demand growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to slow down and biofuel policies have a diminished impact on markets, according to the latest 10-year agricultural outlook published today by the OECD and FAO.

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 says that the completed replenishment of cereal stocks by 230 million metric tonnes over the past decade, combined with abundant stocks of most other commodities, should also help limit growth in world prices, which are now almost back to their levels before the 2007-08 food price crisis.

The report foresees per capita demand for food staples remaining flat, except in least developed countries. Additional calories and protein consumption over the outlook period are expected to come mainly from vegetable oil, sugar and dairy products. Growth in demand for meat is projected to slow, with no new sources of demand projected to maintain the momentum previously generated by China.

Growth in meat and dairy production, by contrast, is expected to come from both larger herds and higher output per-animal. Milk production growth will accelerate when compared to the previous decade, most notably in India and Pakistan. It is foreseen that aquaculture would dominate growth in the fish sector and farmed fish production will be the fastest-growing protein source among all commodities analysed in the Outlook.

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