World Food Supply and Demand : How the Two Can Be Linked

  • Clayton Yeutter
  • Published 2005


It is a privilege and honor for me to make the concluding address of this excellent symposium on world agricultural trade. Ed Harshbarger and his colleagues at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City are certainly to be complimented for assembling such a distinguished group of participants, as well as a most impressive audience. Hopefully, the discussions of the past two days will stimulate and enhance world agricultural trade over the next two decades or more. Since the topic of this morning's program relates to the linkage of world food supply and demand, I will concentrate primarily on that topic. However, my talk will also deliberately spill over into the subject matter of yesterday's discussions. My intent will be to outline the basic issues of this symposium in a format that could be used for followup policy discussions in this or any other country. Though food policy is an area of study which contains few absolutes, it has at least one parameter with which most of us can agree that worldwide supply and demand will be in equilibrium on relatively few occasions during the rest of this century. Five years ago we had a situation where demand outran supply, with many agricultural prices reaching their highest levels ever. In contrast, at the end of last year's harvest we found the reverse situation to be extant. Worldwide supply had outrun demand, with prices in exporting countries having reached levels far below production costs. All of us hope these extremes can be avoided in the future, and many nations are taking steps individually, and perhaps collectively, to reduce the probability of widely fluctuating prices. Nevertheless, some imbalance is bound to occur, if for no other reason than that we still cannot control the weather. With the Soviet Union now being a major element in the world market situation, and with that nation being subject to extremes of both frost and drought, economic uncertainty will

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Yeutter2005WorldFS, title={World Food Supply and Demand : How the Two Can Be Linked}, author={Clayton Yeutter}, year={2005} }