Why we look at markets

Dossier

Food is important basic for living, and thus comprises a special type of goods. In the past decade food prices were more volatile than ever. How do agricultural markets tick? How competitive is our agricultural sector on a global scale? And how can policy effectively influence markets?


Understanding how markets function is an important basis for advice to policy makers, business and the general public. That is why we monitor, analyse and interpret the livestock, meat, cereal, oilseed, and dairy markets, as well as those for sugar and renewable raw materials. These markets reveal clear differences.

The markets for sugar and dairy are the last agricultural markets upon which politics exercises a strong influence. However, this changed recently in the case of dairy and it will change in 2017 for sugar. Dairy quotas were abolished in April 2015, and the market for sugar will follow in 2017. How will production change? How will prices develop?

The market for meat is another example: meat production in various EU Member States, including Germany, is internationally competitive. The result is production that exceeds consumption. In particular, the market for by-products shows a high degree of self-sufficiency, in the case of offal, self-sufficiency is about 1,100 %, leading to a high dependency on exports. Are there sufficient customers for those meat products? And how do prices form within the supply chain?

The continuous observation of markets, the targeted preparation of data and the surveying of market participants form the basis providing answers to the above questions and, also, initiating alternative developments. We assess the costs, prices and company structures of various industries. Additionally, we measure the impact of the policy framework on the agricultural and the food processing industry. Then we derive the competitiveness of individual sectors as well as potential future market developments.