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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Food consumption gap between developing countries and major powers is narrowing

Thursday, April 26, 2018 > 13:22:32


FAO Economist Dmitry Prikhodko informed at the XV Anniversary International Conference “Black Sea Grain: Moving Up the Value Chain”   about the global food market situation and key trends in staple foods consumption over the coming 10 years broken down by region.

According to FAO estimates, the average per capita daily consumption of foods in kilocalorie terms has risen by nearly 10% over the past 20 years. Another global trend is being observed against this bullish background: narrowing of the food consumption gap between developed and developing nations. The reason is that the latter show a five time faster increase in per capita consumption of food calories than the European Union. The 20-year gain in consumption reached 20% in developing countries against just 4% in the EU.

A new trend is a slowdown in food consumption growth. This particularly concerns foods such as grain, meat, and vegetable oil. The FAO forecasts their global use will grow in 2017-2026 nearly half as fast as it did in the previous decade. The upward trend will be maintained primarily by expanding food consumption in Asian and African countries. For instance, by 2026, per capita wheat consumption will gain 12% in Ethiopia, 10% in Bangladesh, and 8% in Mozambique. Ultimately, global imports of this commodity are expected to increase 22 MMT by the above-mentioned time.

Also, a 20% rise will be seen in consumption of dairy foods as well as meat: people will use 12% more poultry, 10% more beef, and 9% more pork. This will raise demand for feed corn by 13-20%, depending on the region. Overall, world corn imports may increase 14 MMT over the coming decade (up 9 MMT to Asia and up 2-2.5 MMT to the OECD, Latin America, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa each).  

In the speaker’s opinion, the key drivers pushing up food consumption include rapid growth of both population and national incomes in developing countries and booming urbanization. In particular, per capita national income in different country groups grew at a roughly equal pace in the 1980’s, but consumption growth in developing nations was three times that in developed ones as early as 2009-2012.

Another trend consists in strengthening demand for grain and oilseed products. The global trade in these commodities has expanded by 19% over the last five years, while sales of unprocessed grains and oilseeds have gained just 9%. At present, grain and oilseed products already account for 32% of the world trade (raw materials just for 68%). According to Dmitry Prikhodko’s estimates, in Ukraine this ratio is fundamentally different: the country’s oilseed and grain complex exports (apart from vegoils) include just 8% of processed products, whereas 92% is represented by respective grains. So, the FAO economist concludes that Ukraine has enormous potential for growth of processed product exports.    

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