Foreign trade policy
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.