food outlook No.4, December 2005 
global information and early warning system on food and agriculture(GIEWS)

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Other relevant agricultural commodities

Ocean freight rates


Special features

Statistical appendix



Data are obtained from official and unofficial sources. For cereals, production data refer to the calendar year in which the whole harvest or bulk of harvest takes place. For sugar, production data relate to the October/September season. For vegetable oils and oil meals derived from oilseeds, production data refer to the year in which the bulk of the seeds concerned are crushed. For trade in wheat and coarse grains, the time reference period is normally the July/June marketing year unless otherwise stated. Trade data for rice and other commodities refer to the calendar year. Coarse grains refer to all other cereals except wheat and rice. Quantities are in metric tonnes unless otherwise stated. ‘-‘ means nil or negligible.



In the presentation and analysis of statistical material, countries are sub-divided, where appropriate, into the following two main economic groupings: “Developed countries” (including the developed market economies and the transition markets) and “Developing countries” (including the developing market economies and the Asia centrally planned countries). The designation “Developed” and “Developing” economies is intended for statistical convenience and does not necessarily express a judgement about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process.

References are also made to special country groupings: Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries (NFIDCs). The LIFDCs currently includes 84 countries that are net importers of cereals with per caput income below the level used by the World Bank to determine eligibility for IDA assistance (i.e. US$1 415 in 2002). The LDCs and NIFDCs groups include a list of countries agreed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to qualify as beneficiaries under the Marrakech Decision on the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food Importing Developing Countries. The LDCs group currently includes 50 countries with low income as well as weak human resources and low level of economic diversification. The list is reviewed every three years by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The NIFDCs group includes 24 developing country WTO Members which notified their request to be listed as NFIDCs and have submitted relevant statistical data concerning their status as net importers of basic foodstuffs during a representative period. This list is reviewed annually by the WTO Committee on Agriculture.



The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Calendar and contents of publication for 20051

  No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4
  6 April 22 June 28 Sept. 6 Dec .
Basic food commodities    
Coarse grains StableStableStableStable
Rice StableStableStableStable
Meat and Meat ProductsStable Stable 
Milk and Milk Products Stable Stable
Oilseeds, Oils and Oilmeals Stable Stable
Pulses Stable  
Roots & tubers    
Sugar Stable Stable
Other relevant agricultural commoditiesStableStableStableStable
Ocean Freight RatesStableStableStableStable
Statistical appendixStableStableStableStable
Iran wheat trade prospectsStable   
Tsunami updateStable   
Southern Africa cereal trade Stable  
Avian flu: potential market impacts   Stable
1 These dates and contents are tentative. The dates refer to the release of the English version. Food Outlook versions in Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish are available shortly after the release of the English version.

Food Outlook is issued by FAO under the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture, by collaborating among Services of the Commodities and Trade Division, and other FAO units. The International Grain Council contributes the Ocean Freight Rates section. Food Outlook provides information on latest developments in agricultural markets and sets the global and regional commodity production, utilization, trade and price context for food security. This issue is based on information available up to 29 November 2005.

Contributing to this issue:

Basic Foodstuffs Service: Grains Group; Rice Group and Livestock Group

Global Information and Early Warning Service

Raw Materials, Tropical and Horticultural Products Service: Sugar and Beverages Group; Horticultural Products Group; Raw Materials Group

Land and Plant Nutrition Management Service

Enquiries should be directed to:

Henri Josserand, Chief
Global Information and Early Warning Service
Commodities and Trade Division (ESC)
FAO - Rome
Facsimile: +39-06-5705-4495

Food Outlook and other GIEWS reports are available on the Internet as part of the FAO World Wide Web ( at the following URL address: In addition, some of the GIEWS regular reports can be received by e-mail through automatic mailing lists: subscription information is available at:

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