Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/07/2014 -- We still believe the grain sector has the highest growth potential owing to its competitiveness and its exposure to the Middle East and Asia. Sugar production is likely to grow strongly because of base effects, as limited consumption growth from both the food and energy sectors will cap production incentives. The livestock sector will remain just below self-sufficiency, and quality issues linked to the horsemeat scandal will limit export growth opportunities to the rest of the EU, at least in the near term
- Wheat production growth to 2016/17: 17.1% to 8.4mn tonnes. This will come from further improvements in yields and increase in area planted. Also, export demand will encourage production.
- Poultry consumption growth to 2017: 10.8% to 341,900 tonnes. Poultry will continue to be Romanians' favourite meat and the one with the most growth potential as the economy recovers and the consumer story improves.
- Sugar production growth to 2016/17: 18.8% to 784,900 tonnes. This will come as farmers reap the benefits of increasing area devoted to sugar and as production quotas in the EU are being phased out in the medium term.
- 2014 GDP growth: 2.8% (up from 2.4% in 2013).
- 2014 average consumer price inflation: 3.2% (down from 4.6% in 2012).
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On the fundamental side, we believe recent strong import demand from the Middle East will soon deplete EU wheat stocks and tighten the regional market. Industry sources have recently indicated that the EU exported twice as much wheat since the start of the 2013/14 season as it did over the same period in 2012/13. In fact, EU export licences since July 1 climbed to 4.5mn tonnes, from 2.1mn tonnes over the same period in 2012 and the most since at least 2004.
In March, the Veterinary and Food Safety Authority in the country released an inspection report indicating that aflatoxin was found in some of the milk available on the local market. Test results showed aflatoxin was detected in about 5.0% of the 1,335 samples examined. The country has increased testing on domestic dairy products as part of efforts to raise the sector's quality standards. These samples were ceased at the delivery level in order to prevent them from reaching the domestic food industry.
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