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GLOBAL AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK FOR THE COMING DECADE

OTTAWA – The world population is projected to reach 8.5-billion by 2030, compared to 7.3-billion currently. Consequently, the global demand for agricultural products is anticipated to increase by 15 per cent over the coming decade. On the other hand, the agricultural productivity is expected to increase faster over the same period leading to prices of major agricultural products to remain lower or at their current level. The agricultural techno- logical innovation leads to yield enhancements, higher production intensity and higher output despite agricultural land use that remains globally constant. Otherwise, the carbon intensity is projected to decline because of the pressures on agriculture to reduce the carbon footprint. The direct greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are expected to grow by 0.5 per cent annually in the coming decade, compared to 0.7 per cent in the past 10 years. However, some uncertainties are present about the risks facing agriculture, such as the spread of plants and animal diseases, disruptions from trade tensions, resistance to antimicrobial, extreme climatic events, and the regulatory responses to new techniques in plant breeding. This outlook was published recently in the annual report of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The projections by commodity presented here were extracted from the published report.
 
Cereals
 
The global production of cereals is expected to increase by 1.2 per cent per year, due to yield improvement, to reach 3,053-million tonnes in 2028. Maize production is projected to increase the most (+181-million tonnes), followed by wheat (+86-million tonnes), rice (+66-million tonnes), and other coarse grains (+35-million tonnes). The industrial use of cereals as biofuels or starch is anticipated to have a modest increase.
 
World trade in cereals is projected to increase by 20.3 per cent to reach 503-million tonnes by 2028. For wheat, the Russian Federation has become the top exporter of wheat since 2016, surpassing the European Union. The world wheat price is expected to decline slightly from USD 241/tonne in 2018 to USD 238/tonne in 2028. For maize, the United States will remain the lead exporter. The world maize price is projected to increase from USD 160/tonne in 2018 to USD 186/tonne in 2028.
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