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Abstract

The purpose of this document is to describe the features of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Medium Term Outlook for Canadian Agriculture (previously entitled Medium Term Policy Baseline) covering the period 2008 to 2018. The outlook is an attempt to outline a plausible future of the international and domestic agri-food sectors. It serves as a benchmark for discussion and scenario analysis. The outlook makes specific assumptions and outlines their implications. Since it assumes that policies remain unchanged from existing legislation, the outlook is not a forecast of future events. The medium term assumptions used and published by the OECD/FAO in the Agricultural Outlook are by in large maintained in the AAFC's outlook but updated to reflect short term price forecasts produced and released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in November 2008. The November 2008 macroeconomic forecast published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was also incorporated in the outlook and in particular a 32% reduction in the crude oil price in 2009. AAFC assumed that 3 years will be necessary before the crude oil price returns to the level used in the OECD/FAO medium term outlook. The world prices generated by this process combined with the macro-economic forecast for Canada published by the Conference Board in December 2008 are the key inputs used to produce the Canadian agricultural markets outlook. The key sectors covered are grains, oilseeds and products, special crops, bio-fuels, beef/cattle, pork/hogs, milk and dairy products, chicken, turkey and eggs.

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