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Abstract

Changes are occurring in the world grain trade that are impacting the spatial distribution of grain flows. Important amongst these are developments in ethanol production in the United States, soybean production in Brazil, and increased imports of soybeans for China. This article develops a spatial optimization model based on a longer-term competitive equilibrium to make projections in the world grain trade and shipments from individual ports to the year 2025. Results indicate that world trade should increase by about 47%, with the fastest growth occurring in imports to China and Pakistan. Japan and the EU, traditionally large markets, have the slowest growth. Most of the increases are expected in soybeans (49%), followed by corn (26%), and most of the U.S. export growth is expected through the U.S. Gulf.

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