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Food Trade Comparison

Food Trade Comparison

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Published by Steve Savage
A comparison of import/export trends for Western Europe, North America and Africa. Background for a blog post titled "Should the World Keep Feeding Europe" at www.appliedmythology.blogspot.com
A comparison of import/export trends for Western Europe, North America and Africa. Background for a blog post titled "Should the World Keep Feeding Europe" at www.appliedmythology.blogspot.com

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Steve Savage on May 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/30/2013

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Food Trade Comparison for WesternEurope and North America
Steven D. Savage, Ph.D.Savage&Associates  Applied Mythology Blog Savage.sd@gmail.com
 
Overview
North America and Western Europe are similar in terms of population(451 and 464 million respectively) and in wealth
 –
per capita GDPs of $39,391 and $34,828 respectively. However, these regions are verydifferent in terms of food self sufficiency. Over the last 10 years W.Europe has been a net importer of an average of 59 million metric tonsof food/year which represents 132 kg per person. Over the same timeperiod, N. America has exported a net 145.5 million metric tons or 313.7 kg/person. Animal feeds are the largest category both for European imports and N. American exports. Other large categoriesare oils, fruit, sweeteners, meats and cereal grains. W. Europe is a netexporter of meat, grains, vegetables, dairy, flours, processed grainsand alcoholic beverages. While there are a number of categories for which North American exports are rising over time, this is only true for a few categories of food for Western Europe. As global food suppliestighten between now and mid-century, Europe can be expected to be amajor competitor with other, less affluent parts of the world such as Africa that depend on international food trade.
 
Background and Methodology
Trade statistics are available from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization(FAOSTATS) from 1961 to 2010.
Data was downloaded for North America (Canada, Mexico, US), for Europe (41
countries). FAO’s region for Eastern Europe was also downloaded and the data
subtracted to leave 30 countries representing Western Europe (Albania, Austria,Belgium, Belgium-Luxembourg, Bosnia and Hertzegovina, Croatia, Denmark,Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Serbia andMontenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom). Africa databased on FAOSTATS list of 55 countries.
The hundreds of commodities represented were summarized to 22 major categories:alcoholic beverages, bran, coffee/tea, chocolate-ingredients, dairy, animal fats,
animal feed (maize, soybeans, sorghum, hay…), fiber, flour, fruit, fruit juice, germ,cereal grains (wheat, barley, rye, rice…), processed foods from grains, meats, nuts,
vegetable oils, pet food, pulse crops, spices, starch crops, sweeteners (sugar beets,
sugar cane…), vegetables. Tobacco products and fiber crops were analyzed, but not
included in the final food summary
Population and per capita GDP data were taken from Wikipedia

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