Food and Agribusiness Talking Points 03-14-2016

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Chinese soybean imports are on the rise

This year’s February rates of Chinese soybean imports have smashed expectations, with imports coming in at 4.51m tonnes from the world’s largest soybean purchaser. This 6% rise, based on year-on-year comparisons, is leading some to suggest that there may be an optimistic recovery on the books for China in the next few months. Although the actual figure for imports was approximately 20% down on a month-on-month comparative basis, with the Lunar New Year interruption taken into consideration and February figures of previous years looked at, 2016 soybean imports are looking promising. However, it is not only monthly figures predicting a rise in Chinese soybean imports with both the Australia & New Zealand Bank and Chinese agribusiness group Cofco echoing this forecast. The Australia & New Zealand bank cited past uncertainties in Brazilian soybean crops and recent record lows for the coming increase in soybean imports and Cofco predicted the 2015 – 16 soybean crop to reach a record 83m tonnes. Click here for the full article.

China attends the Food and Agriculture Organisation Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific

Last week Minister of Agriculture for the People’s Republic of China Chief Agronomist Sun Zonghua headed the Chinese delegation for the 33rd FOA APRC. The conference’s agenda focussed around the regions state of food and agriculture, development of smallholder farmers and nutrition, and the work of the FOA in broad terms. Sun highlighted recent agricultural and rural development strategies that had been put into motion as part of China’s 13th Five Year Plan strategy. Sun brought up four food and agriculture based strategies to meet target goals: increasing international agricultural investment to improve grain productivity; promoting innovation in development technology to improve agricultural sustainability; supporting smallholder farmers development to eliminate regional poverty and promote inclusive growth; expanding agricultural trade to boost the market and ensure food security. Click here for the full article.

Rising food prices send China’s inflation soaring skyward

The Chinese celebrated with indulging in food and drink produce over the festive period which saw an increase in the CPI (Consumer Price Index). Pork prices jumped a massive 25% year on year and vegetables 30%. This saw the CPI rise to 2.3% from last year’s 1.8 predication (highest in two years). Policy makers within China have stayed clear of implemented constraints to settle this surge as they have not reached their 3% CPI target for this year. Although there is a jump in the index analyst predicts the prices will slowly to drop and settle due to an easing in the cold weather and as China comes down from spring festival season. However concerns still loom over prices within the manufacturing industry as they continue to look bleak. The PPI (Producer Price Index) continued to fall 4.9% year on year. Click here for the full article.

Consumption-driven Chinese economy generates new opportunities for Latin America

Following China’s ban on Brazilian beef and the reopening of exports eight months ago, Brazil see China as the biggest market for its prized meat. Statistics from June 2015 to January 2016 have shown China to purchase $906 million worth of beef, which is a staggering 28% of the countries beef revenue. This is expected to rise as the population increases and the cattle consumer market in China continues to buy various cuts of beef, increasing Brazil’s bottom line. The service driven consumer market in China continues to increase along with the rise of the middle class, which is expected to reach 60 per cent of the Chinese population by 2020. Along with this increase comes demand for select meat cuts and quality which restaurant owners and consumers are willing to pay an exceptional price for. Click here for the full article.