MEAT BOARD ATTENDS THE BASELINE AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK CONFERENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 16 August 2019, Willie Schutz and Desmond Cloete attended the Baseline Agricultural Outlook Conference of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in Somerset-West, Cape Town. The conference indicates detailed international trade trends and outlooks and is valuable in that it suggests directional strategies for the meat industry.  Indications are that globally, the meat industry has grown with 1,4% and the biggest contributors to this growth are beef, pork and poultry. Countries that mainly contributed to this growth are the EU, Russia and the USA, with additional contributions from Argentina, Australia, India and Mexico.  The growth in the meat industry is mainly driven by improved productivity, whereas increased slaughter numbers due to the drought (Australia) are also a factor.  There was a decrease in the production of pork in China as a result of the devastating impact of African Swine Fever.  On international level the expectation is that there might be a slight increase in nominal prices, while real prices might decline  in the medium term as a result of lower meat consumption while, at the same time, production is expanding as a result of the lower feed price cycle.  As for the South African market, it is predicted that the slaughter volumes will decline due to a herd building phase that will follow the drought period. Although normally associated with a price increase, it is also predicted that prices will be under pressure due to the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in South Africa.   Meat that generally gets exported are now being locally canalised which results in an oversupply of beef while the buying power of the consumer decreases because of the economic downturn.

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