Global de­mand for food prod­ucts to slow: FAO

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

PARIS: Global de­mand for food and agri­cul­ture prod­ucts is pro­jected to slow “con­sid­er­ably” over the next decade, mainly due to weak­en­ing con­sump­tion in China, the UN food agency said yes­ter­day. Over the 10-year pe­riod be­gin­ning this year, growth in the de­mand for agri­cul­tural prod­ucts “will slow con­sid­er­ably com­pared to the pre­vi­ous decade,” the UN’s Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO) pre­dicted in a newly re­leased re­port.

The joint re­port by the FAO in Rome and the Paris-based Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD) of 34 lead­ing world economies con­tained ma­jor food and agri­cul­ture prod­ucts fore­casts to 2026. One of the main rea­sons given for the de­cline was a slow­down in growth in China, where in­comes over the out­look pe­riod are pro­jected to flat­line, driv­ing down spend­ing on food­stuffs. China has tra­di­tion­ally boosted de­mand for food and agri­cul­ture prod­ucts in the past, in­clud­ing in the last decade when agri­cul­tural mar­kets “ex­pe­ri­enced a de­mand in­crease of his­tor­i­cal pro­por­tions”, driven in part by China’s high con­sump­tion of meat and fish.

But as “in­come growth mod­er­ates and the propen­sity for house­holds to spend ad­di­tional in­come on food de­clines,” growth rates for foods, in­clud­ing ce­re­als, meat, fish and veg­etable oil, “will be cut by around half.” The FAO added that the use of bio­fu­els-which “was heav­ily pol­i­cy­driven” be­cause of con­cerns over green­house gas emis­sions and thus boosted de­mand for maize, sug­ar­cane and veg­etable oils over the past decade-will ex­pe­ri­ence a sim­i­lar pro­duc­tion slow­down. —AFP

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