Title: Changing patterns of global agri-food trade and virtual water flows
Authors: Schwarz, Jana
Maertens, Miet
Mathijs, Erik
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: European Society for Ecological Economics
Host Document: Transformations
Conference: International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics edition:11 location:Leeds date:30 June - 3 July 2015
Article number: 72
Abstract: In this paper we analyze the relation between the
expansion and changing composition of global agri-food trade and flows of virtual water between world regions. Our database includes annual trade data of 101 countries from 1986 to 2011 trading 256 crop and livestock products which we classify into four commodity groups. The findings show that over time trade values have increased more than virtual water volumes; especially in Africa and South America where virtual water exports have roughly
quadrupled since 1986. In all regions staples and industrial products account for the largest share in virtual water trade (>70%) whereas high-value products and animal products are of increasing importance for developing regions' export values. Water efficiency of trade, i.e. the money earned (spent) per unit of virtual water exported (imported) has increased in all regions since 2000 and export water efficiency is especially high in Europe.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Division of Bioeconomics

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