2013-03-20 12:09:05 - New Food market report from Business Monitor International: "Italy Agribusiness Report Q2 2013"
Our outlook for the Italian agribusiness sector has turned more bearish, as dry conditions in Europe, high operating costs and bleak economic prospects have taken a toll on the grains, dairy and livestock sectors. Our long-held view has favoured the grains segment over rice, and we expect conditions to be particularly favourable for wheat and corn production over the forecast period to 2017. We also expect poultry and cheese to outperform sectors in the country, mainly bolstered by the economic recovery, change in consumption habits and opportunities for expansion into export markets.
* Wheat production growth to 2016/17: 12.5% to 7.5mn tonnes. Production is expected to rise as prices stay elevated, driven by growing demand for food and biofuels.
Production of cellulosic ethanol, of which Italy is soon set to become a world leader, also will very likely help to boost wheat production.
* Cheese consumption growth to 2017: 20.6% to 1.8mn tonnes. Per capita cheese consumption, at 28.1kg, is on a par with France and Germany and higher than northern European countries such as Sweden and the UK.
* Poultry production growth to 2016/17: 21.8% to 1.5mn tonnes. Poultry is a relatively cheap meat; as such, we expect continued strong demand amid the tough economic climate.
* 2013 real GDP growth: 0.2% year-on-year (y-o-y), compared with the -1.6% estimated for 2012.
* 2013 consumer price index: 1.5% average, up from 1.7% estimated for 2012.
* BMI universe agribusiness market value: 1.95% y-o-y decline to US$16.9bn in 2012/13, forecast to grow on average 1.08% annually between 2013/14 and 2016/17.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/552331_italy_agribusiness_report_q2_2013.asp ..
Key Revisions To Forecasts
?? 2013 corn consumption: forecast revised down, to 8.7mn tonnes (compared with a previous forecast of 9.3mn tonnes). Local news sources report that Italian corn producers lost almost a third of their crop owing to drought and a heat wave.
The EU is facing its worst corn crop in five seasons as dry conditions in the middle of the continent have forced downward revisions to crop estimates. This has led the EU to increase imports to 6.5mn tonnes for 2012/13, according to official estimates, although some sources indicate this figure could reach 12mn tonnes, which would rank as one of the world's highest. We expect EU corn production to remain low by historical standards in 2013/14, as farmers choose to plant other crops. Even with lower supply from the EU, we continue to forecast a surplus for the global corn market in 2012/13.
According to estimates from the Italian cereals body Anacer, imports of key grains such as wheat, maize and barley into Italy fell 17% y-o-y during the first 10 months of 2012. Demand for imported grain and cereal fell from 10.8mn tonnes between January and October 2011 to 8.59mn tonnes during the same period in 2012. The import bill accordingly fell from EUR3.05bn to EUR2.53bn. Grain traders have cited the widespread lack of liquidity in the Italian market for the reduction in trade volumes. As a result of these declines, Italy's grain-trade deficit shrunk from EUR1.96bn to EUR1.49bn in the first 10 months of 2012.
Italian dairy firm Parmalat, which generates annual sales close to EUR5bn, is eyeing growth in the US. Owned by France's Lactalis since 2011, Parmalat has improved its earnings guidance for the year to December 2012 on the back of a recent US deal. Parmalat now sees earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation reaching EUR430mn-440mn for 2012, a 15% y-o-y increase. In January, Granarolo, Italy's largest processor and distributor of yoghurt and one of the country's leading suppliers of fresh and matured cheeses, acquired France-based CIPF Codipal - a company involved in the distribution of Italian cheeses in the country. The acquisition is part of Granarolo's international expansion strategy, and the company will be hoping that CIPF's 20% market share in the Italian cheese segment will help it make quick inroads into the French market.
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