Agri-food Trade : The Position of France in Internatinal Competition
This study presents the trade performance of the French agri-food sector over the period 1988-2009 using data from European customs. While this sector remains a strong point of the French economy (with a trade surplus), international competition challenges established positions. Long first European exporter of agri-food products, France has been overtaken by the Netherlands in 2001 and then by Germany in 2007. After a long upswing until early 1990, France lost steadily in market share. Since the early 2000s, it is also not good positioned in the more expanding markets. We have identified two determinants of competitiveness (price and quality) and we investigated their importance for each type of production ; in general, there is little correlation between price competitiveness and trade performance of France.