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Introduction to State Trading in Agriculture

by Karen Z. Ackerman and Praveen M. Dixit

Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-783) 48 pp, November 1999

Cover image State trading enterprises are far more prevalent in agriculture than in other industries. STEs account for significant shares of world trade in grains, dairy products, and sugar. Attempts to measure the impacts of STEs and their activities on international agricultural trade have just begun. This report presents a classification scheme for STEs that provides a qualitative index of an STE’s ability to control domestic markets and its ability to influence external trade. We applied the classification scheme to nine major agricultural STEs and concluded that only a few of them are able to affect international trade substantially. Recent policy reforms have eroded some of the nine's powers to influence trade.

Keywords: state trading, world trade, international trade, policy, domestic prices

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Last updated: Tuesday, March 10, 2015

For more information contact: Karen Z. Ackerman and Praveen M. Dixit