Markets and Trade

The evolution of the global structure of food and agricultural trade: Evidence from network analysis

Background paper for The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO) 2022

Year of publication2023
AbstractThe outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the Russian–Ukrainian conflict, which began in February 2022, have tested the resilience of the food and agricultural trade network at a global level. The global dimension of these crises meets a policy landscape in which multilateral trade negotiations have largely stalled and regional approaches to trade integration are proliferating rapidly. Based on network analysis, this paper explores the evolution of the integration of the network of food and agricultural trade since the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) in 1995, the network structure and their implications for resilience to trade shocks. Food and agricultural trade evolved rapidly and countries worldwide became more connected to global markets in the period 1995–2007, but progress has since been limited. While countries are connected globally, trade intensity is usually higher in specific regional clusters, which have become firmer over time. Increased connectivity among countries boosted their resilience to trade shocks, but vulnerabilities remain and evidence suggests slight tendencies of disintegration in recent years.
Available inEnglish
ThemeContemporary Global Issues
Product typeBook (stand-alone)
SeriesThe State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO)
Areas of workEmerging Trends, Challenges and Opportunities
KeywordsCOVID-19; war; impact assessment; agricultural products; agricultural trade; resilience; network analysis