(AGI) - Rome, 19 October - There are strong grounds to believe that the price of beef is going to increase by 20 per cent and that for cheese by 50 per cent, as against levels over the last ten years, due to reforms in agricultural policies, demand for food in emerging economies and the spread of bio-fuel production worldwide. The data comes from a report by Stefan Tangermann, Director of Trade and Farming at the OECD, delivered to the International Food and Agriculture Forum at Cernobbio, organised by Coldiretti and Studio Ambrosetti. At the basis of increasing prices on international markets, according to the analysis presented by the OECD representative, are - Coldiretti reports - both economic conditions and climate change, the fall in production levels in important exporter countries, the low levels of reserves, but also factors such as growth of demand for food in expanding economies and the spread in use of bio-fuels, which should become a permanent feature.
Forecasts for cereal prices from now until 2016 indicate - Coldiretti says - that after the peaks of 2007, prices will fall only slightly before stabilising themselves at nonetheless high levels: wheat at 180 dollars a tonne, maize at 140 dollars/tonne, rice at 320 dollars a tonne and seed oil at around 300 dollars a tonne. As for meat and dairy products, forecasts have beef at 300 dollars a quintal, pork at 160 dollars a quintal, chicken at 170 dollars a quintal, butter at 220 dollars a quintal, and powdered milk at 250 dollars a quintal. On the front of fuels obtained from agricultural produce, the OECD representative underlined that between 2006 and 2007, production of wheat and other cereals decreased by around thirty million tonnes, while that of cereals for ethanol production has increased by over fifteen million tonnes.