Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/09/2014 -- While we are sanguine towards the long-term outlook of South Korea's agricultural sector, we are concerned about the short-term restructuring of the industry due to a mismatch of domestic demand and supply of livestock. Our positive outlook towards the sector is predicated on the government's decision to gradually remove barriers to trade and move up the value chain. Indeed, the expansion of education and financial support for farmers to facilitate entry into the food processing business, as well as plans to revitalise agriculture tourism, will yield results for the industry over the longer term and help it to remain relevant to the South Korean economy. However, we highlight that being able to handle the transition for local farmers - especially livestock farmers - as the industry consolidates in the near term is key in order for the government to facilitate the growth of this new stage of the agriculture sector.
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- Beef production growth to 2016/17: 17.6% to 367,000 tonnes. Even with the anticipated increase in local beef output, the country will remain reliant on imports to meet demand. Indeed, base effects are the key reason for the significant growth rate.
- Milk production growth to 2016/17: 8.2% to 2.2mn tonnes. This growth is likely to be supported by improved yields per cow and favourable pricing structures for farmers based on a new agreement to raise the average price of raw milk.
- Corn consumption growth to 2017: 25.4% to 9.8mn tonnes. This will be buoyed by strong and steady demand from the animal feed sector. In particular, the swine feed sector should be the main consumer of corn for feed processing.
- 2014 BMI universe agribusiness market value: US$36.0bn (down from US$36.7bn in 2013; forecast to decline annually by 1.3% on average to 2017)
- 2014 real GDP growth: 3.0% year-on-year (y-o-y) (up from 2.1% in 2013; predicted to average 3.9% from 2012 until 2017).
- 2014 consumer price index: 1.85% y-o-y (up from 1.5% in 2013; predicted to average 3.0% to 2017)
- 2014 central bank policy rate: 2.75% (up from 2.5% in 2013; predicted to average 3.4% from 2012 until 2017).
Yield of rice production in 2013/14 is expected to jump by 7.8% to 6.76 tonnes/hectare, thus boosting output of the grain by 5% on the year despite a fall in area harvested. According to the USDA, even though Korea experienced severe unfavorable weather spells in tillering and booting stages in tandem with frequent rains and insufficient daylight from early June through early August, favourable weather development in September caused rice yields to recover well.
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