The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2009

The State of
Agricultural Commodity Markets 2009

High food prices and the food crisis
experiences and lessons learned

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Key messages (Download pdf 855 Kb)

About this report (Download pdf 815 Kb)

Foreword (Download pdf 769 Kb)

Part 1 (Download pdf 185 Kb)
What happened to world food prices and why?

World food price inflation in 200708
Why did food prices increase so much?
The impacts of high food prices

Part 2 (Download pdf 91 Kb)
Why were high food prices not an opportunity
for poor farmers?

Do world price increases reach developing country producers?
Prices increased but so did costs
Supply-side constraints

Part 3 (Download pdf 112 Kb)
What should the policy response be?

What are the policy problems?
How have developing countries responded?
What policy measures should be taken?
The need for international action

Annex (Download pdf 864 Kb)

Table 1:

Policy responses to rising commodity
prices in selected countries

Table 2:

Trends in real commodity prices

Table 3:

Monthly commodity prices, nominal

Further reading and information

FAO Trade and Markets Division publications, 200608 (Download pdf 868 Kb)

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The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

ISBN 978-92-5-106280-7

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Note: Unless otherwise stated, data for China also include those for Taiwan Province of China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region.

Cover photos (from top to bottom):
FAO/Roberto Faidutti
FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri
FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri
FAO/Giulio Napolitano


The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2009 was written by a team of staff from the Trade and Markets Division of FAO, led by David Hallam.
The report was prepared under the overall guidance of Hafez Ghanem, Assistant Director General of FAOs Economic and Social Development Department, and Alexander Sarris, Director of the Trade and Markets Division.
Acknowledgement is given to the overall contribution of Pedro Arias and to the particular contributions of Adam Prakash on trends and volatility in agricultural commodity prices, Abdolreza Abbassian on cereal prices, Josef Schmidhuber on biofuels, Hansdeep Khaira on speculation, Merritt Cluff and Holger Matthey on the outlook for commodity prices, George Rapsomanikis on price transmission, Jamie Morrison on supply-side constraints and supply response, Liliana Balbi, Ramesh Sharma and Manitra Rakotoarisoa on policy responses and Alexander Sarris on financing arrangements for food imports.
The report benefited from detailed review and comment by colleagues throughout the FAO Economic and Social Development Department. Special mention should be made of the contributions of Hafez Ghanem, Alexander Sarris, Marcela Villarreal, Keith Wiebe, Josef Schmidhuber, Jelle Bruinsma, Kostas Stamoulis, David Marshall, Hiek Som, Henri Josserand and Abdolreza Abbassian.