Publications

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  • A Consistent Food Demand Framework for International Food Security Assessment

    TB-1941, June 29, 2015

    An improved modeling technique accounts for variation in food quality across income groups; the new calibrated model identifies the separate impacts of income, prices, and exchange rates on a country's food consumption.

  • A Market for U.S. Distillers Dried Grains Emerges in China

    Amber Waves, December 03, 2012

    China has become a key importer of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), the main co-product from ethanol production. About a fourth of U.S. DDGS output is exported, and China accounted for nearly 20 percent of those exports in 2010/11.

  • A New Outlook for the U.S.-Mexico Sugar and Sweetener Market

    SSSM-335-01, August 11, 2016

    ERS examines the U.S. trade remedy investigations on sugar imports from Mexico and considers how the recent "suspension agreement" restrictions on these imports change the outlook for the integrated U.S.-Mexico sweetener market.

  • A Revolution in Food Retailing Underway in the Asia-Pacific Region

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

    This article assesses the causes and impacts of the rapid spread of modern retail outlets in the developing Asia-Pacific region. These modern outlets are contributing to food-system modernization and efficiency, lower food costs, and higher food quality and safety standards. Enhanced food-system distribution chains needed to support these supermarkets also overcome the logistical challenges arising from rapid urbanization. Specialized suppliers are emerging to help modern supermarkets do business with small-scale producers and traditional market channels, thus being an important force for food-system modernization.

  • A Short History of U.S. Agricultural Trade Negotiations

    AGES-8923, August 01, 1989

    The U.S. proposal to eliminate domestic farm subsidies worldwide, presented to the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations in 1987, is a significant break with past policies. Trade liberalization has been a U.S. goal since the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934, but, until recently, the United States and many other nations have acted to preserve their own farm subsidies. In the 1980s, slower growth in international farm trade, the threat of trade wars, and higher subsidy costs have led to a reassessment of domestic as well as export subsidies and have created a climate favorable to eliminating subsidies.

  • A Weakening Global Economy Interrupts Agricultural Trade

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2009

    The financial sector turbulence originating in the United States has had a ripple effect worldwide, curbing economic growth in nearly every country. Slower growth and weaker currencies in emerging markets have reduced U.S. competitiveness and agricultural exports in the short term. At the same time, reduced consumer spending domestically is dampening U.S. import growth. Despite the current downturn, world food demand remains stable, and demand for U.S. exports is expected to recover as developing-country growth resumes in the longer term.

  • APEC Agriculture and Trade: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Region Buying More U.S. Consumer-Ready Food Products

    AER-734, September 11, 1996

    In fiscal 1995, more than 60 percent of U.S. farm exports, worth a record $33 billion, went to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum members. Bulk exports showed the most dramatic growth, benefiting greatly from China's conversion from a net grain exporter into a major net importer. Chinese imports are projected to increase further over the long term. Continued trade liberalization throughout APEC, rapid economic growth in its developing economies, and limited arable land in China and East Asia will ensure continued growth in U.S. farm exports to APEC markets-especially meat for East Asia and grains for China and Southeast Asia.

  • Accelerated Productivity Growth Offsets Decline in Resource Expansion in Global Agriculture

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    The rate of growth in global agricultural productivity has accelerated in recent decades and accounts for an increasing share of expanding agricultural production.

  • Afghanistan's Wheat Flour Market: Policies and Prospects

    WHS-13I-01, October 23, 2013

    Afghanistan's milling industry has been slow to rebuild, due to highly variable domestic wheat supplies and competition from imported flour, largely from Pakistan where wheat producers and flour millers receive Government support.

  • Agricultural Policy Reform in the WTO--The Road Ahead

    AER-802, May 15, 2001

    Agricultural trade barriers and producer subsidies inflict real costs, both on the countries that use these policies and on their trade partners. This report quantifies the costs of global agricultural distortions and the potential benefits of their full elimination. The report concludes that eliminating global agricultural policy distortions would result in an annual world welfare gain of $56 billion. The report also analyzes the effects on U.S. and world agriculture if only partial reform is achieved in liberalizing tariffs, tariff-rate quotas (limits on imported goods), domestic support, and export subsidies.

  • Agricultural Productivity and Efficiency in Russia and Ukraine: Building on a Decade of Reform

    AER-813, July 01, 2002

    The purpose of the report is to determine the potential for increased grain exports from Russia and Ukraine. The report reviews the evidence on the productivity of agricultural production, and explores some of the causes of inefficient practices. Results of the analyses show that implementing institutional reforms would allow productivity and efficiency in the agricultural sector to improve. Consequently, completing the reform program could allow Russia and Ukraine to emerge as significant grain exporters in the future.

  • Agriculture and European Union Enlargement

    TB-1865, February 01, 1998

    This report documents the modeling framework (European Simulation Model, ESIM) used to analyze the 1992 CAP reform and discusses possible effects of EU enlargement. Potential accession of a number of eastern and central European countries into the European Union (EU) seems destined to lead to further reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The financial costs of absorbing these countries may be extreme.

  • Agriculture in Brazil and Argentina: Developments and Prospects for Major Field Crops

    WRS-013, December 28, 2001

    This report identifies key factors underlying the agricultural productivity growth and enhanced international competitiveness of Brazil and Argentina in the past decade. Economic and policy reforms, infrastructure development, and enhanced use of agricultural inputs that drove output growth during the 1990s are discussed. This report also compares Brazilian, Argentine, and U.S. soybean production costs and evaluates the combined impact of production, marketing, and transportation costs on the overall export competitiveness of each country's soybean producers. Finally, the outlook for continued growth in output and exports of key commodities is assessed.

  • Agriculture in the WTO International Agriculture and Trade Report

    WRS-98-4, December 01, 1998

    The Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations continued the process of reducing trade barriers achieved in seven previous rounds of negotiations. Among the Uruguay Round's most significant accomplishments were the adoption of new rules governing agricultural trade policy, the establishment of disciplines on the use of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, and agreement on a new process for settling trade disputes. The latest round also created the World Trade Organization (WTO) to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) as an institutional framework for overseeing trade negotiations and adjudicating trade disputes. Agricultural trade concerns that have come to the fore since the Uruguay Round, including the use of genetically engineered products in agricultural trade, state trading, and a large number of potential new members, illustrate the wide range of issues a new round may face.

  • An Illustrated Guide to Research Findings from USDA's Economic Research Service

    EIB-48, April 01, 2009

    This book contains a sampling of recent ERS research illustrating the breadth of the Agency's research on current policy issues: from biofuels to food consumption to land conservation to patterns of trade for agricultural products.

  • Animal Products Markets in 2005 and Forecasts for 2006

    LDPM-14601, September 08, 2006

    Uncertainty continues to shape the forecasts for animal products markets in 2006. Potential and actual animal disease outbreaks, consumer sensitivities, volatile exchange rates, and growing competition from producers in other countries cloud U.S. trade prospects for major meats. Loss of U.S. trade market share, partly caused by disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions that have affected animal product exports since 2003, compounds the problem. The outlook for U.S. meat, poultry, and dairy markets in 2006 depends on how well domestic production adjusts to changes in input costs, the effect of exchange rates on trade, the continuing effects of disease and trade restrictions on exports, and the increasing competitiveness of emerging animal products exporters.

  • Are Competitors’ Free Trade Agreements Putting U.S. Agricultural Exporters at a Disadvantage?

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    Findings show FTAs increased trade among member countries, suggesting the large number of FTAs that do not include the U.S. may be eroding the U.S. presence in foreign markets.

  • Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses

    AER-741, August 01, 1996

    Microbial pathogens in food cause an estimated 6.5-33 million cases of human illness and up to 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. Over 40 different foodborne microbial pathogens, including fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, are believed to cause human illnesses. For six bacterial pathogens, the costs of human illness are estimated to be $9.3-$12.9 billion annually. Of these costs, $2.9-$6.7 billion are attributed to foodborne bacteria. These estimates were developed to provide analytical support for USDA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems rule for meat and poultry. (Note that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is not included in this report.) To estimate medical costs and productivity losses, ERS uses four severity categories for acute illnesses: those who did not visit a physician, visited a physician, were hospitalized, or died prematurely. The lifetime consequences of chronic disease are included in the cost estimates for E. coli O157:H7 and fetal listeriosis.

  • Behind The Data

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2006

    Under the Agreement on Agriculture, World Trade Organization (WTO) members agreed to rules governing the type and level of agricultural policies they may use. These rules fall under three areas: domestic support (price support and producer subsidies), export subsidies, and market access (tariffs and tariff-rate quotas).

  • Behind The Data

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2006

    Indicators behind the data - February 2006