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Really a nontraded commodity? A look at the international potato trade network

08/11/2012 6 comments

by Ulrich Kleinwechter and Victor Suarez.

At times it is said that the potato is a largely nontraded crop which is produced, processed, traded and consumed mostly locally (CGIAR, 2011) and which is less affected by international price movements (FAO, 2008). In contrast to this view, the IMPACT model used, among others, in the Global Futures Project incorporates the assumption of a single world market for this commodity which is characterized by perfect price transmission and in which all country level prices are determined by a single world market price. Understandable that we were somewhat unhappy with this assumption…

So, we decided to dig a bit deeper into the problem. The first step was to obtain a global perspective of international potato trade. How are potatoes traded internationally? How do international trade flows look like? What is the structure of international potato trade?

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