Institute of

Market Analysis

International agricultural trade – Food security

Meeting research partners from Africa (© Thünen-Institut / Marktanalyse)

Today compared with 1960, three times the amount of agricultural products is produced but six times traded worldwide. What's driving this trend? What is the contribution of international agricultural trade for food security both globally and regionally?

German and European agriculture is becoming increasingly integrated through international trade in world markets. The development is also driven by regional trade agreements between the EU and other countries or regions. With our analysis of possible consequences of trade agreements we take part in the public debate about free trade agreements, e.g. TTIP. In the current debate some people emphasize the benefits of an extended and wider range of consumer choices after a removal of trade barriers; while others fear a sold-out of high social and health standards on domestic markets.
Our analysis is based on long-term monitoring of international agricultural and food markets considering supply of agricultural goods, the demand for food, international trade relations and the formation of prices on international and regional markets. This knowledge is incorporated into our model-based analyzes.

Quantitative analyzes of the development of agricultural trade and the ability buffer acute regional shortages of basic foods, is the link to the second focus of this research area. In collaboration with colleagues in developing countries, we examine how the political and structural framework for agriculture and trade can be designed to improve the income and food situation in these countries. We also analyze together with European colleagues, how climate change affects the performance of European agriculture to deliver food in different world regions.
For the analysis of food security the Thünen-Institute of Market Analysis is also the first contact point of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture