Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international food systems, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) sees the agriculture sector as more resilient than any other part of the industry, based on its biannual report on global food markets. The FAO continues to encourage the international community to remain vigilant and ready to respond when times call for it.

Here are the key trends on major food commodities based on FAO’s Food Outlook report


Global cereal production for 2020 is seen to surpass the previous year’s record by 2.6 percent. World cereal trade until next year is projected to stand at 433 million tons, up by 2.2 percent from last year to set a new record.


Due to animal diseases, market disruptions and lingering droughts, world total meat production is forecasted to dip by 1.7 percent this year in the same way that international prices dropped by 8.6 percent. International meat trade poses moderate growth, although comparably slower than 2019.


The supply of fresh products will be greatly affected this year as aquaculture producers reduced their stocking targets and fish fleets are on hold. Global shrimp and salmon production is also expected to be hit. Shrimp farming season in Asia is currently delayed while the demand for salmon is expected to drop by 15 percent in 2020.


It’s the second consecutive year of decline in world sugar production below the estimated global consumption. Sustained low prices and stock rebuilding will aid in expanding the global trade on sugar.


World milk production is showing resilience with a projected growth of 0.8 percent in 2020. Despite this, due to decreasing demand, world dairy exports are seen to contract by four percent.

Oil crops

Oilseeds and products derived from it shows tightened supplies relative to the demand.

Generally, the wave of economic decline across various countries has affected the global supply chain system, particularly that of agri-food products. Issues on food accessibility, safety and security as well as problems on malnutrition and hunger remain, especially in nations that have already been suffering from it even before the crisis.

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