Global food prices are becoming less volatile compared to recent years, according to a new FAO report. The November 2013 Food Outlook credits the more balanced markets to the recovery of global cereal inventories. 2013 has seen a significant increase in cereal production, largely based on increased maize crops in the US and record wheat crops in CIS countries.
Highlights for other crops include:
The FAO Food Price Index, released today, rose slightly in October to 205.8 points. While this is about 1.3 percent higher than in September, it is still 5.3 percent below its October 2012 levels. This small increase was driven mainly by rising sugar prices.
We commit ourselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at: substantial improvements in market access; reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies; and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support. We agree that special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the negotiations.
It can be argued that rich countries are becoming more and more open to international trade. In the US, the average tariff on dutiable imports declined from 59.1% in 1932 to 4.6% in 2005, according to the US International Trade Commission. And emerging economies like Brazil, China, and India have recently begun following the same path, supporting the idea that global trade is becoming progressively more free-flowing.
I will first provide a brief summary of where the WTO negotiations currently stand along the Road to Bali, based on a summary given by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo at the Informal Trade Negotiations Committee meeting of October 25, 2013.