Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/10/2012 -- BMI View: The world's largest agricultural producer will remain as such over the long term, although some of its sectors may decline in terms of their global impact. This is particularly the case for the beef industry, as production will remain subdued owing to stagnant consumption and international competition for exports. The grains sector, specifically corn, is expected to rebound in the 2012/13 season as soil conditions improve and high prices result in record plantings. Over the long term, we foresee continued export growth driven by emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia, which are likely to be the main driver for production growth in most of the agricultural sectors.
- Wheat production to 2015/16: average annual growth of 0.5% to 62.0mn tonnes. The key driver for wheat production will be export potential, as domestic consumption will stay largely flat over the long term.
- Sugar consumption to 2015/16: average annual growth of 1.2% to 10.4mn tonnes. Consumers will very likely continue to decrease their per capita consumption of sugar; population increases will therefore become the main driving force behind consumption growth.
- Soybean production growth to 2015/16: average annual growth of 2.2% to 100.0mn tonnes. The increase in poultry consumption, which is forecast to grow by more than 20% over our fiveyear forecast period, will create production incentives by driving demand for soybean, which is used as feed. Furthermore, with livestock production expanding across the globe, the US, currently the world's largest soybean exporter, is likely to benefit from increasing export opportunities in the long term.
- 2012 real GDP growth: 2.0% (up from 1.7% in 2011; predicted to average 2.2% over 2011- 2016).
- Consumer price inflation: 2.9% year-on-year (March 2012), up from 2.1% in March 2011.
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We forecast a slight improvement in soybean production in 2012/13 after a disappointing output in 2011/12. The rebound is largely due to expectations for better yields. US soybean stocks are declining on the back of subdued output growth as well as high export demand, especially from China. These dynamics will very likely limit the US's export capacity after the 2012/13 season starts in September. Risks to our production forecasts are weighted to the downside, mainly due to unfavourably dry weather, which is affecting the condition of crops. As of the end of June, soybean in good condition only accounted for 45% of the total planted area, well below the five-year average of 53%, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
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