JRC modelling expertise supports the agricultural outlook
The European Commission publishes annually the Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU. The latest issue, recently published, projects the trends for major EU agricultural commodity markets until 2022.
According to the outlook, EU commodity markets are projected to remain balanced - on average - over the outlook period.
The report depicts a relatively positive outlook for arable crops in the EU, as a result of solid world demand and firm prices. Medium term prospects for milk and dairy products appear favourable due to the continuing expansion of world demand. The report hints for example at an increase in EU cheese exports of more than one third by 2022, based on sustained demand from main destinations of EU cheese (Russia, Middle East countries, the US, etc.). On the contrary, the EU meat market is expected to contract by 2% over the next two years, affected by the on-going economic downturn.
Since 2010, these forecasts, led by the Directorate General for Agriculture (DG AGRI), have benefited from the JRC's modelling capacity, focused on background and baseline projections as well as uncertainty scenarios. Improved features have also been included, like an extended product coverage (including biofuels, detailed oilseed complex, sugar and whole milk powder) as well as an attempt to identify and quantify the main areas of uncertainty.
JRC's core contribution is the integrated Modelling Platform for Agroeconomic Commodity and Policy Analysis (iMAP), which addresses a broad range of topics linked to the economic assessment of agricultural policies and food security, as well as those in relation to trade, renewable energies, environment and climate change.
The set of market and sector income prospects are elaborated on the basis of specific assumptions regarding macroeconomic conditions, the agricultural and trade policy environment, weather conditions and international market developments.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding assumed developments of, for instance, the GDP, oil price and crop yield, a sensitivity analysis with respect to key exogenous variables has also been conducted.
As part of the research process, the JRC together with DG AGRI annually gathers high-level policy makers, modelling and market experts to present and discuss current projections. In October 2012 experts and high-ranking officials from the EU, the United States and international organisations met to outline the reasons behind observed and prospected developments. A summary and the proceedings is available for download.
This publication constitutes the main reference scenario for ex-ante evaluations of policy impacts and feeds into the ongoing Common Agriculture Policy post-2013 impact assessment process.
The report can be accessed at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/markets-and-prices/reports_en.htm