Positive outlook in 2014 for global meat traders

Positive outlook in 2014 for global meat traders

Richard Brown, a director of Gira, the strategic food market research and consultancy firm, forecasts a more positive outlook for 2014 global meat traders.

He told delegates at the AHDB Outlook Conference that the prospects for economic growth should be better.

Inevitably, there would still be a degree of business risk but very likely less so than in previous years. He forecast that global meat consumption would continue to increase at around 1.5% annually i.e. continued expansion but at a lower rate than the historical rate. He predicted that meat prices would remain stable or perhaps suffer a small decrease. However, the industry must acknowledge that current prices have been high. He suggested that meat traders would face an on-going threat from the ravages of animal diseases. He expressed concerns about African wine fever in Russia, Foot and Mouth Disease and Classical Swine Fever in Asia and the threat of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea Virus from the US.

Although in the years ahead, the risk profile for the meat trade business is likely to be less challenging, global trading will not be for the faint hearted. Brown suggested that unwelcome and unpredictable developments will still arise. The US fiscal challenge has not gone away, the meat trade faces the challenge of implementing CAP reform and a continuing state of volatility will confront those doing business in the Middle East. It would also be re-assuring if more knowledge were available about the impact of climate change, sustainability issues and the lifting of trade barriers.

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