The Role of Export Restrictions in Agricultural Trade

Between 2006 and 2011, in a global context of rising food prices, many countries applied price-isolating policies. Export restrictions were among the measures most frequently applied. However, as countries are not obliged to notify WTO about the imposition of export restrictions, there is not good information about the measures applied. We fill this void by building a comprehensive database on export restrictions applied in the agricultural sector worldwide between 2005 and 2014. We name it the Export Restriction in Agriculture (ERA) database, and we use it to analyze the incidence of export restrictions by country, type of product, type of measure, and time span. Using the ERA database, we assess the effects of export restrictions on agricultural trade and global food prices in the period 2005-2013. To do so, we estimate a disaggregated gravity model of trade where the effects of export restrictions and import tariffs on traded values and volumes allowed us to infer the existence of an effect on prices. Clear evidence of export restrictions affecting world prices is limited to a handful of sectors, and weak evidence suggests that it may exist in some other sectors. We also find weak evidence of an impact of import promoting policies on agricultural prices. These results highlights the idea that export restrictions should be addressed at the multilateral level, but negotiations on export restrictions should not be disassociated from talks on other price-insulating policies.

Issue Date:
Apr 25 2017
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:
This volume contains information which was presented at an International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium Annual Meeting, which was held December 13-15, 2015 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Series Statement:
IATRC Commissioned Paper 20

 Record created 2017-04-25, last modified 2018-01-23

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