Food Balance Sheets

FAO Food Balance Sheets -- FAO's food balance sheets (FBS) are available on FAOSTAT in two versions, a "classic" and a "new" version. In this website we use the "new" version (FAOSTAT3) as the old version will undoubtedly be dropped eventually (it is no longer updated), however, although the "new" version has a more simple interface it sometimes still has bugs. Try the "new" interface first-- if it fails to work you can return to the "classic".  The site allows you to download single food balance sheets for a country or area for a single country or geographic area for a single year.  The current data series runs from 1961 to 2011. The food balance sheet provides data at the commodity level for production, import, export, domestic supply, consumption, etc. data in metric tonnes as well as providing data on daily calories, and grams of protein and fat supplied.  The data is supplied for a number of individual commodities as well as totals for commodity groups.  Final consumption is calculated as a residual. A Food Balance Sheet handbook (also known as the Orange Book because of its original cover colour) can be downloaded in a Zip or a PDF format at

A Commodity Balance database, also part of FAOSTAT allows data from the food balance sheets to be downloaded by selecting multiple countries, years and commodities. This data base is broken into two options, one for Crop products and one for Livestock products. It does not include the nutritional information from the food balance sheets, but this can be downloaded from the Food Supply data base which is also a part of FAOSTAT and is provided with the same crop and livestock options as the Commodity Balance data base.

Bulk downloads-- one of the major improvements associated with the "new"  FAOSTAT interface is that it allows bulk downloads in spreadsheet format for the Commodity Balance and Food Supply data bases. A warning, some of the downloadable tables are too large for a spreadsheet. However, the site provides smaller tables which can be downloaded (usually by geographic region) and loaded into a database where they can be joined.

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Copyright 1998/2015 GRI    Updated 29 April 2015