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Mastering the Commodities Markets by Francesca Taylor

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INDUSTRY STRUCTURE

Before investing in agriculture it is important to understand the structure of the industry. There is nothing comparable to it anywhere else in the world and, other than water, there is nothing more material to our well-being.

The industry has 1 billion suppliers and 7 billion end users but it has fewer than 1000 processors and distributors in between. Surprisingly, at the narrowest point in the supply chain, fewer than 10 firms dominate the commodities market (Figure 11.4). This leads to a huge concentration of power in the hands of very few.

The value chain for arable commodities is shown in Figure 11.5, and can be divided into roughly six categories.

To match the limited number of traders in the agri-commodity world there ...

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