Market, trade & export

Agricultural markets are places where agricultural products and raw materials are exchanged and prices for these products and materials are set. Traditionally, many of these markets were heavily regulated within the EU. Through the EU's agricultural reforms, however, governmental influence has declined continually over the last two decades, which has meant that the role played by developments on global markets and international agricultural futures markets in setting prices has become increasingly important. Since 2007, global price developments for agricultural commodities have been dominated by rising prices and greater price fluctuation. Improved transparency and appropriate regulation of agricultural futures markets have been introduced in an attempt to help limit possible negative effects that financial investors may cause, reduce insecurity about supply and stocks, and in this way stabilise price formation.

The greater the uniformity of trade regulations, and the fewer obstacles impeding trade, the better international trade can function. The BMEL's aim in this regard is to develop the international trade agreements in a manner that on the one hand enables the multifunctional European agricultural sector to remain a viable model in the future, and on the other that also enables developing countries to participate in world trade on an equal footing. To receive competent advice in issues relating to international trade, the BMEL has set up the Economic Committee on Foreign-Trade Issues (WAA).

Exports of goods from the agri-food sector are of great economic importance to the Federal Republic of Germany. The BMEL provides German enterprises with targeted support in the development of new markets via export promotion measures, participation in trade fairs, and the removal of barriers to trade.

Facts and figures on German agricultural exports

Container ship on a river

The German agricultural and food industries are well positioned internationally: Worldwide, Germany has for many years been the third largest overall exporter of agricultural goods and the No. 1 exporter of confectionery, cheese, pork and agricultural technology.

more: Facts and figures on German agricultural exports …

Free trade agreements of the European Union

Forklift truck unloading a lorry

Free trade is one of the major drivers of growth for the world economy. Both consumers and enterprises can derive great benefit from it - the history of the European Union shows this.
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) supports the EU's efforts to negotiate comprehensive free trade agreements, in the form of association, partnership and cooperation agreements in cases where no material progress has been made in negotiations at World Trade Organization (WTO) level.

more: Free trade agreements of the European Union …

The Doha Development Round

Container vessel

The negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO) that began in 2001 are known as the Doha Development Round (also Doha Development Agenda - DDA).

more: The Doha Development Round …

Fair conditions of competition: The end for export subsidies

View of a container terminal

Since July 2013 the exportation of farm products has no longer been subsidised in the EU and hence in Germany. The so-called export refunds were phased out and ultimately abolished. It would only have been possible to reintroduce the instrument of export refunds after the reform of the common agricultural policy in 2013 in the event of extraordinary market crises.

more: Fair conditions of competition: The end for export subsidies …

Export promotion programme for the German agri-food sector

Cheese specialities and other foods

The BMEL has launched a programme to support the German agri-food sector in its endeavours to open up new markets abroad. The programme is constantly being refined and adapted to current requirements.

more: Export promotion programme for the German agri-food sector …

Price fluctuations (volatility) of agricultural commodities

Chart: price fluctuations

In recent years, price fluctuations and price spikes on global commodity markets have increasingly come to the forefront of public attention. Extreme price volatility means insecurity and financial risks for all the commercial operators involved.

more: Price fluctuations (volatility) of agricultural commodities …

Transparency on agricultural markets

Euro symbol on wheat

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture supports all efforts for more transparency on the agricultural markets in order to curb extreme price fluctuations and their consequences for the supply of food.

more: Transparency on agricultural markets …

Further information

Tradition – Innovation – a Devotion to Detail

Startbild Agrarexport

Germany is the world’s third largest exporter of agricultural goods. German products are popular and in demand. The film on "Quality made in Germany" shows why. In approximately three minutes, the film shows the wide range of products offered by the German agri-food industry – in the fields of seed and planting stock, animal genetics, agricultural machinery, raw materials (cultivation and production), and semi-finished and finished products.

Germany stands for a modern, productive and at the same time sustainable agri-food industry. The film shows how the industry meets the high quality standards that apply in all sectors. These quality standards guarantee that all exports are of top quality.

show video: Tradition – Innovation – a Devotion to Detail …


Agricultural products in Germany at a glance (infographics)


Germany’s agricultural sector is among the four largest producers in the European Union. No other country in Europe produces more milk, grows more potatoes or produces more pork. Just over half of our arable land is dedicated to growing cereals alongside other crops such as maize, rape, sunflowers and sugar beet. Apart from cattle, pigs and chickens, livestock farming also includes turkeys, sheep and other farm animals. Fruits, vegetables and wine are produced in regions that enjoy particularly favourable climate and soil conditions.



© Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture