Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/19/2012 -- Severe droughts, combined with the highly discouraging macroeconomic environment and weak consumer spending, is proving to be a major dampener for agribusiness growth in Spain in 2012/13. We are currently expecting wheat, barley and milk production to suffer the most in the short term. However, medium-to-long-term prospects look favourable for corn, processed dairy and pork segments.
- Wheat production to 2015/16: -4.1% to 6.62mn tonnes. Although we believe adverse weather conditions this year will not be repeated, production will be able to grow only modestly over our forecast period to 2015/16.
- Cheese consumption to 2015/16: 19.5% to 417,400 tonnes. Traditionally, cheese was consumed most during social occasions in Spain. It is now becoming increasingly popular and a household staple.
- Pork production to 2015/16: 6.7% to 3.7mn tonnes. We note that two new EU directives on swine farming are likely to force some less efficient producers to leave the industry in the run-up to 2013.
- 2012 GDP growth: -2.1% (from 0.8% growth in 2011)
- 2012 consumer price index: 1.4% annual average (from 2.3% in 2011)
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: 9.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) decline to US$12.1bn in 2012/13, forecast to decline an average 3% y-o-y between 2012/13 and 2015/16.
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Spain and Portugal joined hands with Poland and Lithuania to request the European Commission to intervene in the region's dairy market and help stabilise it. In September 2012, the members called for a temporary reintroduction of export refunds for milk and milk products as well as the revision of reference prices for butter and skimmed milk powder. Meanwhile, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture is reportedly looking at ways to rebalance the value chain of milk and milk products, with the view of helping farmers deal with the increasing costs of feed. Efforts are also being made to launch a campaign to control the quality of bulk milk sold in the country.
In the same month, Spanish MEP Esther Herranz Garcia called for EU policymakers to maintain sugar quotas until 2020 to give beet growers more time to adapt to trading in an open global market. The region of Castilla y Leon, which accounts for 84% of sugar produced in Spain, had previously encouraged the central government to modify the current proposals for CAP reform in order to keep sugar quotas beyond 2015.
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