燡une2008牋
燜ood Outlook
牋Global Market Analysis

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MARKET SUMMARIES

CEREALS

WHEAT

COARSE GRAINS

RICE

OILSEEDS, OILS AND MEALS

SUGAR

MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS

MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS

FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS

FERTILIZERS

OCEAN FREIGHT RATES

Special features

Statistical appendix

Market indicators and food import bills

THE FAO PRICE INDEX

Announcement

Market indicators and food import bills

Global expenditures on food imports could surpass USD1 trillion in 20081/

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The global cost of imported foodstuffs in 2008 is forecast to reach USD񁦢35燽illion, 26爌ercent higher than last year抯 peak. This figure is still provisional as FAO抯 food import bill forecasts are conditional on developments in international prices and freight rates, which remain highly uncertain over the remainder of the year

The bulk of the anticipated growth in the world food import bill would rest on higher expenditures on rice, wheat and vegetable oils, which are all forecast to rise to unprecedented levels from 2007: 77爌ercent in the case of rice, in spite of a forecast sharp contraction in global rice deliveries in 2008, and around 60爌ercent for wheat and vegetable oils. Soaring international quotations are mostly responsible but also freight costs, which have nearly doubled for many routes.

The combination of rapidly rising prices and higher freight costs is behind the higher global bills for imported coarse grains and sugar, given anticipated reductions in imported volumes, notably for maize. Import bills for livestock products are expected to register smaller gains, owing to moderate increases in global quotations together with subdued trade.

Disturbing developments for the more vulnerable countries

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Among economic groups, the most economically vulnerable countries are set to bear the highest burden in the cost of importing food, with total expenditures by LDCs and LIFDCs anticipated to climb by 37-40爌ercent from 2007, after rising 30 and 37爌ercent, respectively, already last year. The sustained rise in imported food expenditures for both vulnerable country groups constitutes a worrying development, as on current expectations by the end of 2008, their annual food import basket could cost four times as much as it did in 2000. This is in stark contrast to the trend prevailing for developed countries, where year-to-year import costs have risen far less.

Higher food import bills are not necessarily resulting from more imported food. Numerous LDCs and LIFDCs are expected to curtail the procurement of many foodstuffs from international markets, a reaction that in numerous cases does not reflect improved domestic supply prospects. Moreover, food staple inventories have far from recovered in many LDCs which only adds to their vulnerability, especially given the considerable uncertainty in international price prospects.

Forecast import bills of total food and major foodstuffs (USD爉illion)

World Developed Developing LDC LIFDC NFIDC
2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008
TOTAL FOOD 820牋466 1035382 535牋471 679341 284995 356040 17909 24583 121026 168922 32816 45536
Cereals274463382 086148 398228 449126 065153 6378 00111 78242 26162 98816 02024 181
Vegetable Oils116 873186 16752 41186 63064 46299 5383 2665 20638 83661 2936 75810 618
Dairy83 80585 04159 11060 38124 69524 6601 5041 5729 3229 3922 9622 689
Meat90 46699 54473 04480 79317 42218 7511 0011 1258 2279 7311 6321 846
Sugar23 59129 30311 05214 19812 53915 1061 5711 9865 8207 0781 7942 091

 

Food Outlook

Food Outlook

Food Outlook


1. The food import bill is based on actual market values of raw and processed goods as opposed to values expressed in primary equivalents.

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