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.

Overview of topics

Agricultural exports

Food from Germany is an export hit: one third of the total output of German agriculture goes into exports, the food industry generates one third of its total revenue in export activities. With its promotion programme, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture intends to open up foreign markets with great purchasing power for German products, thus strengthening companies' competitiveness.


Export promotion programme for the German agri-food sector

The BMEL operates a programme to support the German agri-food sector - especially small and medium-sized enterprises - in its endeavours to open up new and foster existing markets abroad. The programme is constantly being refined and adapted to current requirements.


Price fluctuations (volatility) on commodity futures markets for agricultural raw materials

Price fluctuations and price spikes on global commodity markets have increasingly come to the forefront of public attention since last year and since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Food supply is massively at risk at times of insecurity due to low supply and high demand as well the resulting high prices, especially in countries of the global south that are dependent on imports. In Germany and the EU, food prices have also significantly increased as a consequence of the war in Ukraine.


The European Union's free trade agreements

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.