Trade and markets
 > Economic > Trade and Markets > Publications


The Global Economy of Pulses

The production, trade and consumption of pulses have seen substantial growth over the last fifteen years. This report examines the trends and patterns of this growth, and the factors that explain these for different kinds of pulses. The report presents an analysis of trends of consumption of pulses in different regions of the world and discusses the role that pulses can play in human nutrition. The report presents an analysis of the dynamics of growth of major pulses in different pulse-producing countries of the world. It describes the increasingly important role of trade in the global economy of pulses and presents an analysis of changing patterns of trade. The report argues that there is a pressing need to close the large gap between potential and actual yields, particularly on smallholder farms in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, by increased adoption of improved varieties and modern agronomic practices in all developing countries. This in turn requires a major thrust in agricultural research and extension, improving credit availability, and public investment directed at pulse production. The report discusses future prospects and policy imperatives for sustaining the growth of pulse production.

Value Chains, human capital and the 2030 Agenda

Prepared to support the G20 Presidency of Japan and the G20 Agriculture Deputies, these three background notes provide an overview on the following interlinked issues:

  • The policy challenges for strengthening the participation of farmers into modern value chains and promoting value addition, inclusion, sustainability and rural economic growth
  • The need for a transformation in the skillset of agricultural workers and a renewed focus on human capital development in agriculture
  • The contribution of agriculture to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2019-2028

The fifteenth joint edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides market projections for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish. The 2019 report contains a special feature on the prospects and challenges of the agricultural sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Food Outlook: Biannual Report on Global Food Markets, May 2019 

Food Outlook is a biannual publication focusing on developments in global food and feed markets, published by the Trade and Markets Division of FAO under the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS).

Each report provides comprehensive assessments and short-term forecasts for commodity production, utilization, trade, stocks and prices, as well as feature articles on topical issues.

Food Outlook: Biannual Report on Global Food Markets, November 2018

Food Outlook analyses trends and developments in the markets for cereals, the oilseeds complex, sugar, meat, dairy and fish products. The November edition also offers a detailed analysis of the cassava markets and the protracted decline in international coffee prices. An additional feature article analyses the recent conditions in the global markets for bananas and major tropical fruits, where world trade is foreseen to surge by 18 percent from last year.

The outlook for global supplies of agricultural commodities in the 2018/19 marketing season remains broadly in line with earlier expectations. While the weather had some impact on crop prospects, the overall production at global level did not change significantly from the forecasts published in the July issue of Food Outlook. Beyond weather-induced revisions, the latest FAO revisions take into consideration the mounting uncertainties regarding trade policies, as well as the changes in exchange rates and rising energy prices.

Boosting Agricultural Trade in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Project (At a Glance)
The FAO Multipartner Programme Support Mechanism (FMM) project benefits stakeholders in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with specific activities in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine to strengthen the policy environment for multilateral trade agreements and export development, in line with the FAO Regional Initiative for Improving Agri-food Trade and Market Integration in Europe and Central Asia.

This project flyer provides a brief overview of the project and highlights what was accomplished during project implementation from February 2017 to May 2018.

National programs and strategies in support of agri-food exports in the post-Soviet countries [Available in Russian]
This review focuses on the various aspects of post-Soviet countries' policies in support of agri-food products export. The report contains an analysis of agricultural exports of these countries in recent years. This includes the latest initiatives in the field of stimulating food supplies to the foreign market are considered, and the national legislation promoting exports is described. Moreover, the review consolidates information in relation to the export support systems within post-Soviet countries, including governmental institutions, state export support agencies and non-governmental institutions. The report also evaluates the key instruments and measures for agricultural exports promotion in countries of the region, in particular, to the financing of export promotion measures from the state budget.

Review of Agricultural Trade Policies in the post-Soviet countries 2016-17
[Available in Russian]

This review is the third in a series of publications devoted to the analysis of agricultural trade and trade policies in the post-Soviet countries. The purpose of the review is to study trends in the agri-food foreign trade and to monitor the latest policy changes in trade policies of these countries that affect its dynamics and structure. This publication also includes a chapter on review of strategies and programs on export promotion of agricultural goods developed by post-Soviet countries. In order to diversify agricultural markets in 2016-2017, many post-Soviet countries have intensified the development of such policy documents, considering the increase in exports, as a factor contributing to economic growth in the sector.

Policy coherence for agricultural transformation in African least developed countries (LDCs) - Aligning agriculture and trade policymaking processes

In many developing and least-developed countries (LDCs), the transformation of the agriculture sector is key for improving domestic food security and nutrition and for promoting economic development. However, efforts to raise agricultural productivity and develop inclusive and competitive agricultural value chains are often hampered by market- and trade-related bottlenecks, while initiatives promoting agricultural commercialisation, diversification and trade are often curbed by bottlenecks at farm or post-harvest levels. In this context, FAO, in collaboration with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), carried out a Multi-partner Programme Support Mechanism (FMM) Project on Trade related capacity development for food security and nutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) to contribute to improved policy coherence for agricultural development and food security in these countries.

The Linkages Between Migration, Agriculture, Food Security and Rural Development Technical report

This report examines the complex interlinkages of migration with agriculture, food security and rural development. It does so by taking stock of the literature and the evidence from both developed and developing countries focusing on why people from rural areas decide to migrate. The report focuses on significant effects on migration that can arise through the interactions of food security with conflict, poverty, shocks and emergencies, environmental degradation and climate change, but also through household strategies to cope with the risk of hunger and malnutrition.

Food security and nutrition: Challenges for agriculture and the hidden potential of soil - A Report to the G20 Agriculture Deputies

Report, prepared by FAO and the OECD with inputs from IFPRI, IFAD, the World Bank and WTO, submitted to the G20 Presidency of the Republic of Argentina in response to the Presidency’s request for information on future trends and challenges faced by global agriculture, with a special focus on the role of soils in promoting food security and the measures that could be undertaken to facilitate sustainable soil management.

Emerging Opportunities for the Application of Blockchain in the Agri-food Industry

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and smart contracts provide a unique opportunity to bring greater efficiency, transparency and traceability to the exchange of value and information in the agriculture sector. By utilising digital records, cryptography and the disintermediation of transaction processing and data storage, DLTs can improve both agricultural supply chains and rural development interventions in a number of ways. The technology has the potential to simplify and integrate agricultural supply chains, enhance food safety, facilitate access to trade finance and other types of agricultural financial services, improve market transparency, provide greater legal certainty to land-tenure systems and strengthen accountability for compliance with international agreements related to agriculture. This paper aims to facilitate a better understanding of the opportunities, benefits and applications of DLTs in agri-foods. It explores the potential of DLTs to address many of the challenges that disadvantaged market players face by participating in integrated supply chains. It also identifies the technical limits, possible institutional barriers to their adoption and the way forward for the public sector. Overall, it shows how DLTs can be an impetus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Food Outlook: Biannual Report on Global Food Markets, July 2018 

An analysis of medium-term global market and policy developments affecting wheat, rice, meat and fishery products, amongst others. This issue includes special features on minor tropical fruits, including guava and lychee, and insights into food import bills.

Press release - Poorest countries face growing burden from the cost of importing food

A market summary of the report is available in
ArabicFrenchRussianSpanish and Chinese.

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027
Special Focus: Middle East and North Africa

The fourteenth joint edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides market projections for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish. The 2018 report contains a special feature on the prospects for, and challenges facing, the Middle East and North Africa.

How to use the WTO instruments in the interests of agribusiness – A guide
[Available in Russian]

This guide provides an overview of instruments used in the WTO agreements which apply to trade in agricultural goods such as Agreement on Agriculture, Agreement on Application of SPS Measures, Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Facilitation Agreement, and Understanding on Dispute Settlement. This publication provides agribusiness a broad set of trade and transparency instruments that can be used to improve market access opportunities. Transparency instruments in these agreements are useful for agribusiness in export market research and analysis. Trade remedies instruments and procedures are used to safeguard producers from unfair trade practices. Trade facilitation instruments improve administrative and customs procedures at all levels. This publication is part of a collection of knowledge resources for the FAO Regional Initiative on Improving Agrifood Trade and Market Integration in Europe and Central Asia.

Regional Initiatives for Europe and Central Asia

FAO ’s three Regional Initiatives for Europe and Central Asia address interlinked issues to ensure the contribution of agriculture to achieve the universality of the Sustainable Development Goals. For this reason, technical teams in the region and at FAO headquarters work in close collaboration to support countries in achieving their goals.

Initiatives 1 and 3 complement each other on ensuring that smallholders and family farmers share equitably in the benefits of improved productivity and resilience. Initiatives 2 and 3 work together on creating a policy environment that enables sustainable production and pasture management, on developing investment programmes for Climate-Smart Agriculture, on organic farming, and on reducing food losses and waste.

Review of Agricultural Trade Policies in the post-Soviet countries 2016-17
[Available in Russian]

This review is the third in a series of publications devoted to the analysis of agricultural trade and trade policies in the post-Soviet countries. The purpose of the review is to study trends in the agri-food foreign trade and to monitor the latest policy changes in trade policies of these countries that affect its dynamics and structure. This publication also includes a chapter on review of strategies and programs on export promotion of agricultural goods developed by post-Soviet countries. In order to diversify agricultural markets in 2016-2017, many post-Soviet countries have intensified the development of such policy documents, considering the increase in exports, as a factor contributing to economic growth in the sector.

Trade Policy Brief (31): The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture

Summary of outcomes for agriculture and fisheries of the Eleventh World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11), held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 13 to 13 December 2017.

Commodities and Development Report 2017 Commodity Markets, Economic Growth and Development
The report brings together the complementary expertise of UNCTAD and the FAO, creating synergies between UNCTAD’s mandate to promote the integration of developing countries into the global economy and FAO’s mandate to eradicate hunger and promote food and agricultural production. This is done with the aim to provide an additional tool to inform public policy analysis and deliberation, in particular of developing countries.

Trade Policy Technical Notes (21): Trade and Nutrition

This technical note explores the impact of trade on nutrition, addressing the role of trade in the “nutrition transition” and the extent to which trade policies affect nutritional objectives.

Citrus fruits statistics 2017
This is the 2017 edition of the annual compilation of statistics related to the international production, trade, and processing into juice of citrus fruits with grower and wholesale prices. The fruits covered are oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit. The statistics are disaggregated by fruit, by year, by region and by country from 2008 to 2016.

Food Outlook - Biannual report on global food markets
Food commodity markets remain well supplied but the cost of importing food is set to rise by 6 percent from last year’s level to reach USD 1.413 trillion in 2017. Sharp increases in freight rates, stronger import demand and firmer prices of most food commodities are expected to elevate the global food import bill to its second highest level on record.

A market summary of the report is now available in Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish and Chinese.

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026

The thirteenth joint edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides market projections for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish. The 2017 report contains a special feature on the prospects for, and challenges facing, Southeast Asia. 

Strengthening sector policies for better food security and nutrition results
This guidance note aims to support policy makers and agriculture stakeholders in promoting greater coherence between trade and agricultural policies and identifying the policy space within trade agreements for developing countries to address food security concerns.

Trade and Food Standards
This publication explains how international food safety standards are set through the joint FAO and World Health Organization Food Standards Programme – the Codex Alimentarius Commission – and how these standards are applied in the context of the World Trade Organization Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and on Technical Barriers to Trade.

Now available in Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

What did we learn from the bout of high and volatile food commodity prices (2007-2013)?
This research paper looks at the crisis in international agricultural markets during the last decade and draws out some lessons. Although crop prices continue to be volatile, the bout of high prices/high volatility ended by 2015. The initial rapid rise of prices was not predicted, and surprised both market players and the international community more broadly. Considerable policy attention was focused on the crisis – by the UN broadly, by FAO and its members, by G20 heads, agricultural groups, and national governments.

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025
Special focus: Sub-Saharan Africa
The 2016 edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides an assessment of the mediumterm prospects of global agriculture. The report highlights that for the sector to meet the expanding demand for food, feed and raw products for industrial uses, significant production growth is needed.

Agricultural Trade Policies in the Post-Soviet Countries 2014/15: A Summary
The document is based on the publication Review of Agricultural Trade Policies in post-Soviet countries 2014-15. In the 2013-2014 period, most countries in the region registered a negative foreign trade balance in agrifood products (HS codes 1-24). The largest deficit in this product category was recorded in the Russian Federation, which had an average annual deficit over the two years of USD 23.9 billion.

Report of the Working Group on Climate Change of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea
This compilation of adaptation strategies for tea cultivation developed and practiced by major tea growing countries of the world, is the first step taken by the working group on climate change of the FAO-IGG on tea to minimize climate change impacts on tea plantations. It is a joint effort by the scientists of Tea Research Institute of India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and China supported by the FAO-IGG on tea in Rome.

Home country measures that promote responsible foreign agricultural investment: Evidence from selected OECD countries
This paper summarizes the good practices by nine selected OECD countries that seek to promote responsible foreign investment in developing country agriculture, primarily by investors in their territory or jurisdiction. The study provides examples of the increasing trend of home countries in establishing binding legal norms and other mechanisms as safeguards that are relevant for agricultural investment.

Medium-term prospects for raw materials, horticulture and tropical products
This publication puts the focus on a set of selected Raw materials, Horticulture and Tropical (RAMHOT) Products, namely sugar, tea, banana, tropical fruits, citrus products, Jute, and hard fibres. A medium-term outlook is generated for each of these products, and an analysis is undertaken to assess underlying market drivers and the factors likely to shape market performance over the next 10 years.

How does agricultural trade impact food security?
The links between trade and food security are inherently complex, with several channels of interaction affecting the different dimensions of food security simultaneously. In essence, trade, influenced by the economic context and sectoral composition of growth, directly affects key domestic variables like food production, prices, employment and government revenues.

Policy brief | Trade and related policies for decent rural employment
The agriculture sector accounts for the majority of employment and output in most developing countries. Trade in agricultural products has the potential to significantly impact rural employment, incomes and poverty, by affecting the availability and price of food, as well as wages in this sector. 

Policy brief | Agricultural trade and decent rural employment
Agriculture is the largest employer of the world’s poor, most of whom live in rural areas. As developing economies grow, and undergo structural transformation, employment tends to shift away from agriculture into other sectors, such as industry or services.

Jute, Kenaf, Sisal, Abaca, Coir and Allied Fibres Statistics, December 2015
Information relating to the production, marketing, trade and consumption of jute, kenaf and allied fibres are tabulated and presented in this bulletin. This information is used by the IGG Secretariat to analyze national policies and their international effects as well as supply and demand position and its probable development in the short and medium terms.

Review of Agricultural Trade Policies in former Soviet Union countries 2014-15 [available in Russian only]
This publication has been prepared as part of the FAO Regional initiatives in Europe and Central Asia "Development of agricultural trade and market integration in Europe and in Central Asia.

Analysis of the size and distribution of the impacts of agricultural trade at the firm and industry levels in developing countries
The main purpose of the studies compiled in this report was to analyse the size and distribution of trade impacts among heterogeneous agrotrading firms in developing countries, with special attention given to the role of the organization and behaviour of these firms.

Climate Change and Food Systems: Global assessments and implications for food security and trade
This book collects the findings of a group of scientists and economists who have taken stock of climate change impacts on food and agriculture at global and regional levels over the past two decades. 

Also available as an ebook


Russia’s restrictions on imports of agricultural and food products: An initial assessment
On 7 August 2014 Russia announced a ban on food imports from Western countries which, in an earlier move, had imposed sanctions on Russian business interests in connection with the crisis in eastern Ukraine. 

Policy responses to high food prices in Latin America and the Caribbean: Country case studies
This publication presents evidence on the effectiveness of policies and programmes introduced in response to rising food prices in eight Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

Countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States: Agricultural policy issues in the context of the World Trade Organization
This report examines the experience and main issues of twelve of these countries in the context of the rules and commitments in agriculture under the World Trade Organization (WTO). ENGLISH |  RUSSIAN

Import surges and the Special Safeguard Mechanism revisited
This Technical Note revisits the analysis presented in Technical Note No. 9, updating data used in the identification of Import Surges to 2013 to capture recent changes in the global market context of higher and more volatile food prices and significant increases in volumes of imports to food deficit developing countries

Smallholder participation in the tropical superfruits value chain: ensuring equitable share of the success to enhance their livelihood
The production and trade of tropical fruits generate income, improving the livelihoods and food security of producers, who are almost exclusively smallholders in developing countries.

The Bali Package – implications for trade and food security
This brief provides a concise explanation of the Bali package focusing on those elements which have direct implications for trade and related policies directed at improved food security. It also considers potential implications of trade and market policies more broadly for food security.

Rebuilding West Africa’s Food Potential: Policies and private initiatives to promote smallholder-inclusive food value chains
This book contains a large number of in-depth case studies of food value chains, including traditional export commodities (cocoa, cotton), high value exports (mangoes, horticulture) and the most important staple food value chains in the region.

Food Security in Africa: Market and Trade Policy for Staple Foods in Eastern and Southern Africa
Drawing on insights from theoretical applications, empirically based approaches and case study experience, this book contributes to the improved design and use of trade and related policy interventions in staple food markets.

G-33 proposal: early agreement on elements of the draft Doha accord to address food security
Some developing countries have proposed that WTO rules should be changed to allow them more flexibility to purchase food at subsidized prices under public stockholding or domestic food aid programmes. This short information note, published jointly by ICTSD and the FAO, looks at how rules, policies and practices in this area can affect trade and food security, in the run-up to the global trade body’s ninth ministerial conference this December

Smallholder integration in changing food markets
A key message of this report is that without better understanding the determinants of smallholders’ participation in agricultural markets, and formulating appropriate measures to facilitate improved participation, initiatives seeking to promote the adoption of productivity enhancing technology by smallholder producers are likely to have limited success