Sixteen Latin American countries, led by Brazil pledged this week to work together to demand reform of world agricultural trade rules at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The decision was taken among other issues to counter the protectionist policies of developed countries and India.
It is estimated according to FAO and WTO that Latin America represents 25% of world agricultural exports.
According to Brazil’s foreign relations authority, for the first time in the history of WTO, 16 Latin American countries issued a joint declaration in favor of reforming multilateral rules for agricultural trade.
The group is committed to finding solutions to the global food insecurity crisis and shows concern about the protectionist policies of some countries in the WTO that are promoting a historic setback in agricultural liberalization.
The delegations of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay issued a communiqué to other WTO members defending the maintenance of food supply chains and agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and seeds, amid the global food insecurity crisis.
The pandemic and international military conflicts, climate change, and natural disasters negatively impact international trade and logistics, increasing the volatility of agricultural products, inputs, and fuel costs. “This leads to unreasonable protectionist measures (from certain quarters) that make it difficult for value chains to adequately function,” specifies the declaration.
“We regret that these events have led to shortages and increased prices of inputs and fertilizers in our region,” the statement reads. “We urge members with the capacity to supply these products to maintain and, if possible, increase their output, allowing our agricultural producers to continue to contribute to global food and nutrition security.”
“We are concerned about the pressure put on international markets by implementing some recently adopted emergency policies that create distortions in global markets and unreasonably impede or restrict trade flows, such as pro-cyclical stockpiling measures,” the Latin American communiqué states.
The group finds that strengthening the implementation of relevant WTO agreements will positively affect the recovery process of the world economy.
Meantime a report from FAO's Food Outlook, estimates that because of higher prices and transport costs, the global food import bill is expected to rise from US$ 51bn to US$ 1,8 trillion this year.
“Given soaring input prices, weather concerns, and heightened market uncertainties stemming from the war in Ukraine, the latest FAO forecasts point to the tightening of food markets, marked by food import bills reaching a new record,” said Upali Galketi Aratchilage, an FAO economist and editor-in-chief of Food Outlook.
Published twice a year, the Food Outlook offers FAO analysis of market supply and demand trends for the world’s top food items, including cereals, oilseeds, sugar, meat, dairy, and fish. It also analyzes trends in futures markets and shipping costs for food products.
The new edition also contains two special chapters examining rising prices for agricultural inputs such as fuel and fertilizers and the risks that the war in Ukraine poses to global food commodity markets.
The sixteen countries are committed to finding solutions to the global food insecurity crisis and express concern about protectionist policies
They demand WTO members defend the maintenance of food supply chains and agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and seeds