The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute expects world economic growth to remain strong in the coming decade, boosting meat consumption in many parts of the world.

According to FAPRI, solid commodity prices and a persistently weak U.S. dollar in industrialized trading countries will keep U.S. exports strong for the next 10 years.

FAPRI also that new policy developments and rising interest in renewable fuels are expected to boost ethanol and biodiesel markets in the United States, European Union, and Asia. Ethanol trade is projected to double in the next decade, increasing from 0.65 to 1.20 billion gallons. The world ethanol price increases by 1.8 percent, reaching $1.32 per gallon in 2015.

Other highlights from FAPRI's 2006 agricultural outlook:

* World pork production benefits from trade shocks from BSE in beef and from avian flu in the broiler industry. World pork production reaches 113.1 million metric tons, and trade reaches 4.9 million metric tons by 2015/16. The European Union loses market share, while all other major competing exporters, including Canada, the United States, and Brazil, gain market share.

* With continuing strong growth in pork and poultry exports, coupled with the reopening of the Japanese beef market, the United States is expected to regain 4 percentage points in its share of meat trade by 2010.

* Grain prices remain high, given strong import demand on world markets. Wheat prices remain above $150 per metric ton. Corn, sorghum, and barley prices steadily increase, from the $90-$94 range to the $117-$134 range per metric ton. The United States and Argentina are among the countries benefiting from strong world market conditions and increases in grain use. The U.S. corn market share increases from 62 to 72 percent over the projection period.

* FAPRI continues to foresee greater concentration in soybean production. Argentina, Brazil, and the United States increase their combined production share from 82 percent to 84 percent of world production. World soybean production reaches 277 million metric tons by 2015/16, a 24 percent increase from 2005/06. Brazil overtakes the United States as the largest soybean producer and exporter in the world, holding a 34 percent share of world production and a 51 percent share of world trade by the end of the period.

The 10-year FAPRI projections provide a starting point for evaluating and comparing scenarios involving macroeconomic, policy, weather, and technology variables in world agricultural trade.

You can find more information at the IowaState ( and University of Missouri ( FAPRI Web sites.

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