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Press Release 99/1

THE UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) TO BEGIN NEW ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF THE URUGUAY ROUND ON AGRICULTURAL MARKETS


Rome, January 19 -- The Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP), a committee of the governing body of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in a report released today, called on FAO "to undertake additional analysis on the impact of the Uruguay Round, particularly on food security" before the next round of multilateral trade negotiations begins toward the end of 1999.

The call comes following the CCP's latest assessment of the impact of the Uruguay Round on agricultural markets based on an FAO study that found, "with the exception of some commodities, there was little evidence of the impact of the Uruguay Round on the volume of trade and level of prices on the world market in a majority of cases."

The FAO study, the first of its kind, also concluded that "part of the increased food import bills of the Least Developed and Net Food Importing Developing Countries could be attributed directly or indirectly to Uruguay Round-related policy changes; and that there was little evidence of much change in world price instability."

According to the report, most delegates agreed that these findings were in part due to the gradual phasing-in of country commitments under the Uruguay Round. The report also noted the difficulties in isolating the effects of the Uruguay Round from other developments, with just over three years of information" available since implementation of the Agreement on Agriculture was begun.

FAO said its assessment of the impact of the Uruguay Round on agricultural markets was complicated by the number of weather and macoeconomic-related events that affected agricultural commodity markets during the assessment period.

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For further information contact:

John Riddle, Media Officer
39 06 57 05 32 59
e-mail: john.riddle@fao.org

Please visit the FAO website at: http://www.fao.org


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