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Share of main agricultural export commodities in total agricultural exports
|Guinea-Bissau||33.2||70.0||29.2||38.4||Groundnuts, cashew nuts|
|Somalia||49.2||29.2||27.8||20.4||Bananas, sheep, goats|
|Sierra Leone||50.8||43.0||45.7||17.2||Palm kernels, coffee|
|Burkina Faso||57.8||23.2||49.8||70.8||Cotton, cattle|
|Togo||35.3||60.4||50.2||62.9||Cocoa beans, cotton|
|Benin||15.7||19.9||26.0||71.6||Palm oil, cocoa beans, cotton|
|Mauritania||50.9||33.0||46.9||74.3||Cattle, shellfish (fresh, frozen and cured)|
|Cambodia||32.6||16.8||97.6||69.0||Rubber dry, industrial roundwood (non-coniferous)|
|Afghanistan||24.1||18.2||41.7||41.9||Raisins, fur, skins|
|Nepal||18.1||...||19.7||33.7||Sugar cane, jute, lentils|
|Laos||32.7||84.6||66.6||41.0||Nutmeg, sawnwood, coffee|
|Yemen||22.1||23.9||33.7||17.4||Coffee, cotton, water melons|
Source: FAO, Country tables, various years, Economic and Social Policy Department, Rome.
The identification of these different types of product is difficult and to a certain extent arbitrary. Here we adopt the definition of "broadly noncompeting" products as used by Riedel4 to refer to those products for which the developing country share of world exports exceeds 80 percent. The products are cocoa, coffee, tea, bananas, spices, copra, groundnuts, palm oil, coconut oil, jute, natural rubber, sisal and silk.
Table 9 shows the widely varying degrees of dependence on non-competing products in FDCs. For some countries, non-competing products account for over 90 percent of total agricultural exports (for example, in island states with very narrow resource bases, such as the Comoros and Cape Verde, and in coffee-dependent Rwanda), while for others the share is insignificant (for example, in the cotton exporters Egypt, Mali and the Sudan). However, a large majority of these countries have recorded a move towards "competing" exports. This tendency, and the somewhat reduced dependence on a few major export products observed above, suggests that opportunities for export diversification are being exploited even by particularly poor and resource-deprived countries. A more diversified export structure should provide opportunities for expanding and stabilizing FDCs' export earnings from agriculture. The fact that this has not occurred and that agricultural export performances have remained generally disappointing in FDCs (Table 10) reflect, in particular, the poor initial conditions from which improvements have been achieved in many of these countries as well as the general market conditions and policy environment that govern agricultural trade (see Part III, p. 199). Whatever headway in efficiency or diversification these countries may be able to achieve, its effective translation into competitive gains will depend crucially on progress in trade liberalization and improved access to developed countries' markets.
Broadly non-competing agricultural exports as a percentage of total agricultural exports
Selected FDCs: indicators of agricultural export performance
|Export volume, volume, annual rate of change||Net barter terms of agricultural trade||Purchasing power of agricultural exports|
|1971- 1980||1981 - 1990||1992 - 1993||1992 - 1993|
(....... 1979-81 = 100 ........)
Note: Net barter agricultural terms of trade are agricultural export prices deflated by import prices of manufactures and crude petroleum; the purchasing power of agricultural exports is calculated by deflating export values by import prices. Thus, the difference between the two indices is accounted for by changes in export volumes. For instance, Afghanistan improved agricultural terms of trade by 7 percent between 1979 81 and 1992-93; but the decline in export volumes caused the purchasing capacity of agricultural exports to fall by 80 percent during this period.
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