Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/02/2014 -- The Australian agriculture sector is still recovering from a decade of subdued production growth due to extreme weather and a lack of investment. The industry is expected to remain buoyant in 2014 and 2015, largely supported by export demand from Asia and elevated grains and oilseeds prices. In the longer term, we see major export growth opportunities in the sugar and livestock sectors. Although Australia will face stiff competition from Asian countries such as Thailand for sugar, and from the US and Brazil for meat, the country will remain a key player in those industries. Apart from growing competition from its own region, Australia will have to face high production costs and a vulnerability to extreme weather.
- Beef consumption growth to 2018: 3.9% to 810,800 tonnes. Demand growth will be largely driven by population growth, as consumption per capita decreases over time due to health consciousness.
- Sugar consumption growth to 2018: 4.0% to 1.3mn tonnes. As a result of the trend towards healthier eating, we believe sugar consumption growth will slow slightly over the forecast period.
- Wheat production growth to 2017/18: 25.3% to 28.1mn tonnes. The high growth rate is due to base effects following a drop in production during 2012/13. Although export opportunities in Asia will incentivise an increase in production, resources constraints will limit growth.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: US$23.02bn in 2014; up from US$22.99bn in 2013; growth expected to average 3.0% annually between 2014 and 2018.
- 2014 real GDP growth: 2.0%; down from 2.4% in 2013. Forecast to average 2.7% from 2014 to 2018.
- 2014 consumer price index: 2.3 average % change y-o-y; down from 2.3% in 2013. Forecast to average 2.5% from 2014 to 2018.
- 2014 central bank policy rate (average): 2.00%; down from 2.50% in 2013. Forecast to average 2.30% from 2014 to 2018.
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Key Revisions To Forecasts
- 2013/14 wheat production forecast revised up, to 26.8mn tonnes, compared with a previous estimate of 26.1mn tonnes, due to favourable weather in the largest producing regions.
- 2014/15 sugar production forecast revised up, to 4.4mn tonnes, compared with a previous estimate of 4.2mn tonnes. This revision is due to relatively favourable weather during plantings.
Key Industry Developments
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