According to the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness annual global animal protein outlook African swine fever (ASF) overwhelms the outlook for 2020 – as it has done during 2019 – and is expected to pull down overall growth, as well as bring uncertainty to all markets.
Issues such as trade disputes and sustainability were also tipped to dominate the meat sector over the next year. Rabobank expects growth in most regions in 2020, however China’s production losses due to ASF is expected to exceed the growth in all other regions combined. Across species, aquaculture and poultry will lead production growth in 2020, while beef will be stable, and wild-catch seafood will decline again. All of these changes are minor compared with the production decline in pork.
Commenting on the report, RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness global strategist animal protein Justin Sherrard, said: “Besides the impact of ASF, many trade disputes and issues are causing uncertainty for global animal protein, with the US-China trade war the most apparent – but not the only – trade uncertainty. In addition, the ongoing rise of alternative proteins also adds to the uncertainty – even though Rabobank has a less bullish view of alternatives than others do.”
Sherrard also stressed the importance of sustainability in the meat sector. “In our view, sustainability is just as important as other areas of uncertainty, as it will shape the growth of animal protein production and consumption through the 2020s.”
Sherrard said the issues of ASF and sustainability provide opportunities for other markets. “The most obvious area of opportunity in global animal protein is the recovery from ASF, which, in Rabobank’s view, will extend through the 2020s. Winning on sustainability is another opportunity, which can be achieved by harnessing the supply chain and moving ahead of market signals. Finally, investing to secure ongoing trade flows can also be an opportunity, as this can reduce some of the uncertainty and secure continuous market access.”