This 15th edition presents the outlook for commodity markets during the 2009 to 2018 period, and analyses world market trends for the main agricultural products, as well as biofuels. It provides an assessment of agricultural market prospects for production, consumption, trade, stocks and prices of the included commodities. This edition of the Outlook was prepared in a period of unprecedented financial market turmoil and rapidly deteriorating global economic prospects.
Because macroeconomic conditions are changing so quickly, this report complements the standard baseline projections with an analysis of revised short-term GDP (Growth Domestic Product) prospects and alternative GDP recovery paths. A sensitivity analysis to highly uncertain crude oil prices shows the important links between energy and agricultural prices. The outlook also reports on a survey of various actors in the agri-food chain in terms of the current impacts of the global economic crisis and credit market constraints.
The issue of food security and the capacity of the agricultural sector to meet the rising demand for food remains very high on the international political agenda. This report provides a brief overview of critical factors such as land availability, productivity gains, water usage and climate change, and suggests that agricultural production could be significantly increased, provided there is sufficient investment in research, infrastructure and technological change, particularly in developing countries.