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OECD-FAO ag production report projects slower growth

Global agricultural production is expected to grow 1.5 percent a year on average over the coming decade, compared with annual growth of 2.1 percent between 2003 and 2012, according to a new report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The report was released in Beijing by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

Limited expansion of agricultural land, rising production costs, growing resource constraints and increasing environmental pressures are the main factors behind the trend, the report said. But the report argues that farm commodity supply should keep pace with global demand.

Driven by growing populations, higher incomes, urbanization and changing diets, consumption of the main agricultural commodities will increase most rapidly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, followed by Latin America and other Asian economies, the report projects.

China’s consumption growth is expected to outpace its production growth by some 0.3 percent per year, signaling a further but modest opening of China's agricultural sector, the report said.

China's imports of oilseeds are expected to rise by 40 percent over the next ten years, accounting for 59 percent of global trade.

Both the meat and dairy sectors will continue to expand which will result in higher imports of feed grains.

In a signal of why the Chinese are interested in purchasing the U.S. pork company Smithfield Foods, China is expected to become the world's leading consumer of pig meat on a per capita basis, surpassing the European Union by 2022. China should maintain its leading role in global aquaculture at 63 percent of global production and remain the largest fish exporter.

China is projected to remain self-sufficient in the main food crops, although output growth is anticipated to slow in the next decade.


Full publication available June 26