With a continuous lack of support for the livestock 5

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Unformatted text preview: est growing Asia‐Pacific countries in terms of agricultural imports: China, Russian Federation and India. After accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, China’s agro‐trade has grown steadily. Agro‐imports have been increasing and have made China a trade‐deficit country in agriculture since 2004. It rose more than five‐fold during 2000‐08. This shift is partly due to greater import of land‐ intensive products such as oilseeds and, greater demand and price hike of cereals. The Russian Federation has also experienced huge import growth during 2000‐08 especially with large meat or meat‐based products. With a continuous lack of support for the livestock 5 6 Top 10 Asia‐Pacific (ESCAP members) importers by annual average 1998‐2008 Top 50 importers of the world by annual average 1998‐2008 6 industry (lack of feed availability), imports of meat and other agricultural products began to increase. This along with consumer exposure to global products made the Russian Federation a big importing country (Liefert 2009). India’s agricultural policy had centred mostly around ‘self‐sufficiency’ until the 1990s, when trade liberalization started to play a role in augmenting international trade including agriculture sector (EC 2007). Since 2000, India’s agro‐imports have grown steadily. The import figures for other top importers in Asia and the Pacific increased sharply in the last decade also. During 2000‐08 Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand saw an average growth between 13‐14%, which places them among the 20 fastest growing import economies among the major agro‐importers in the world. Developing and emerging economies of the Asia‐Pacific region are turning out to be major importers of agro‐products. Commodity trade is a large part of agricultural trade and thus a means for maintaining food security for many developing countries. Cereal imports have more than doubled in the last decade. Analysts suggest a variety of factors behind this sharp increase. Firstly, there has been a change in trade structure since the 90’s, which forces countries to import more high‐ value products such as fish, fruits and vegetables. Secondly, emerging countries have been seeing a surge in per capita income, making high‐value processed food available in these markets. FAO statistics point to a significant increase in the import volume of palm oil in East and Southeast Asian countries (2007). It is also argued that many developing countries are finding it hard to cope with increasing cereal demand: hence they import basic food commodities to fill the gap in their production. Some also point to trade liberalization during the last decade and price‐hikes especially during the second half of 2000‐10, that may have contributed to such a surge in imports. Agro‐product export in the Asia‐Pacific is growing The agro‐export scenario in this region is a mixed one also. Compared to 2000, agro‐ exports grew more than two and half times in 2008. In the same year, Asia‐Pacific’s agricultural export stood at about USD 227 billion, which was 45% of their agricultural trade (the rest being imports). Until 2008, export had been growing steadily. During the economic crisis (2009), Asia‐Pacific’s agro‐export intra‐regionally receded much slower than with the rest of the world (~6% compared to ~14%). While the reduction in export due to economic crisis demonstrates the integration of the Region’s trade with rest of the world, the major exporters such as China, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation managed to accelerate their exports in this region. China supplied about 59% of its exports to Asia‐Pacific countries in 2009. Three quarters of exports from the Republic of Korea were destined for this region also. Another emerging economy, India, managed to keep its exports on par both within and outside the region. Conversely, Southeast Asian exporters such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand reduced their exports durin...
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