On 3rd July 2018 OECD and FAO launched their latest joint Agricultural Outlook document. The publication, this year on its fourteenth joint edition, provides market projections relating to the years 2018-2027, covering the major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish, resulting from a consensus assessment based on input from experts at national, regional and global level. This year’s edition includes a special feature on the prospects and challenges of agriculture and fisheries in the Middle East and North Africa.


The document highlights that a decade after the food price spikes of 2007-2008, conditions on world agricultural market have significantly changed: production has grown strongly across commodities, and it reached record levels for most cereals, meat types, dairy products, and fish in 2017, and cereal stock levels climbed to all-time heights. Demand growth has started to weaken, after the deceleration of the impetus provided by rising capita incomes in China. In the coming decade, prices of agricultural commodities are expected to remain low, as a result of the weakening of growth of global food and feed demand.

The global agricultural and fish production is projected to grow by around 20% over the coming decade, but with significant variations across regions: while there is strong growth expected for Sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, production growth is expected to be much lower in the developed world, particularly in Western Europe. This growth in production will be achieved primarily through intensification and efficiency gains, and partially from an enlargement of the production base through herd expansion and the conversion of pastures to cropland.

The slower consumption and production growth will lead to a projected growth of agriculture and fish trade at half the rate of the previous decade. Net exports will increase from land-abundant countries and regions, such as the Americas, while countries with limited natural resources, slow production expansion and high population growth will experience rising net imports. Projections foresee an increased import dependence in particular for the Middle East and North Africa, due to the constrains to agricultural production given by the scarcity of arable land and water. 

To read the full report click HERE