We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
JRC expertise in modelling with a focus on baseline projections and particularly on uncertainty scenarios has fed into the latest issue of the European Commission’s agricultural outlook for the next decade. The outlook “Prospects for EU Agricultural Markets and Income,” was compiled by the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development and presented during a dedicated conference. The publication describes the trends for major EU agricultural commodity markets such as crop, milk and meat markets until 2024.
According to the outlook, EU commodity markets will be sustained by a solid world demand over the outlook period. For arable crops in particular, this year’s record crop, following the last year’s already good harvest, resulted in a price decrease: prices should recover over the projection period due to a strong feed demand, compensating a slower than expected increase of biofuels demand. Sugar quota abolition as from 2017 might result in the EU becoming self-sufficient. Animal products, in particular dairy products – in the context of milk quotas being abolished as from 2015 – and pig meat, could benefit from increased world demand leading to a significant increase of EU exports. This supports an expansion of the EU production of milk and dairy products. Such projections are elaborated under a set of coherent policy, macroeconomic and agronomic assumptions. Uncertainty areas around these assumptions are also analysed. This year's report for example, includes analysis of an occurrence of an extreme climatic event, such as El Niño, or an economic slowdown in Russia.
JRC's core contribution is encompassed within 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. Along the years, improved features have been included in the models and a reference methodology has been adopted for uncertainty analysis.
This annual outlook constitutes the main reference (baseline) scenario for any ex-ante evaluations of policy impacts to be carried out on agricultural issues – such as the review of the first years of implementation of the new CAP.