The OECD’s Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025, in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), predicts a halt in the increase of food prices globally as productivity increases. The decline in prices of meat, field crops and fish products recorded in 2015 signals that “an era of high prices is quite likely over for all sub-sectors”, according to OECD economists. 

From 2012 to 2014, prices of livestock, milk and field crop products hit record highs. Factors behind the current decline in prices, the report said, include: “Several years of robust supply growth, weakening demand growth due to the overall economic slowdown, lower oil prices and further accumulation of already abundant stocks.” 

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Government policies and climate change may still prompt price swings in the coming years, the report’s authors added. Their predictions are “subject to a wide range of uncertainties, including variations in oil prices, yields and economic growth”, with “a strong chance of at least one severe price swing within the next 10 years”. 

The 2016-2025 Agricultural Outlook is an assessment of prospects of the national, regional and global agricultural commodity markets across 41 countries and 12 regions, including OECD countries as well as India, China, Brazil, Russian and Argentina, among others.