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Keywords:

  • Q17 – Agriculture in International Trade
  • Food prices;
  • Gravity model;
  • China;
  • Agricultural exports;
  • Developing countries exports;
  • agricultural prices;
  • Armington model

Abstract

This article explores the impacts of China's growth in the international markets of agricultural products along two dimensions: food price inflation and export growth in other developing countries. China's food imports of vegetable oils have grown dramatically over the last decade, linking China's economic growth to the recent increases in global food prices. If China is a source of global food price inflation, exporting countries will benefit whether they sell directly to China or not. These direct and indirect linkages are explored using a short-run, partial-equilibrium model of international trade in agricultural products in which consumer prices and trade costs are derived from bilateral trade flows. China's effects on food prices and exports are estimated by reducing Chinese food expenditures in 2007 by half, roughly China's level of expenditures in 1995. Results indicate that food prices as measured by CES price indexes in developing Asia, Africa, and Latin America would have been reduced by 1.27%, 0.32%, and 0.22%, respectively. China has been an important source of growth for exporters selling directly to China. There is no evidence of export growth due to an overall increase in food prices caused by China's growth.