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COVID-19 Disruptions Create New Areas of Opportunity and Risk for the Poultry Industry
Covid-19 is disrupting the business in ways the global poultry market had never planned for, creating new areas of opportunity and risk. The impacts of Covid-19 are spread very unevenly between regions and between companies.
“Company leaders and investors need to constantly review market conditions and adjust company positioning to optimize growth and returns. There will be bigger differences between winners and losers, which will lead to a process of accelerated capital investments, consolidation, and internationalization in the coming years,” according to Nan-Dirk Mulder, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein.
Rabobank has identified three stages of Covid-19’s impact on the global poultry industry...
US Beef Demand: The Risk of Recovery
The optimistic anticipation of a post-pandemic world continues to intensify with the ongoing distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. From a beef industry perspective, virus control will relieve much of the current strain on the processing and distribution sectors.
Throughout the next several years, innovations accelerated by Covid-19 will go live, as well as technological advancements across the supply chain. Simultaneously, tighter cattle supplies from a declining beef cow herd will...
Pork Quarterly Q1 2021: Looking for Growth Amid Uncertainties
Rising disease pressures continue to challenge the global market. While African swine fever (ASF) continues to impact pork production in Asia and Europe, as well as global trade flows, Covid-19 keeps affecting the whole supply chain, from producers to consumers. However, demand is expected to rebound in most regions in 2021 due to economic recovery.
Global pork supply will grow in Asia and North and South America, but face more challenges in Europe. “While China continues to dominate global trade, China’s expected reduction in imports in 2021 will...
Poultry Quarterly Q1 2021: A Perfect Storm in 1H, Initial Recovery in 2H 2021
After the big disruption caused by Covid-19 in 2020, the poultry industry will face additional challenges in 2021, especially in 1H. Covid-19 will place ongoing pressure on foodservice and trade, and the consequent slow economic growth will lead to more price-driven market conditions. As market fundamentals appear challenging for 2021, the poultry industry should prepare for a tough year.
“Looking forward, we see four main challenges for the global poultry industry: ongoing Covid-19 impacts on markets, high and volatile feed prices, China’s African swine fever recovery, and...
Changed Beef Consumption Habits Following COVID-19 Create Opportunities
The global Covid-19 pandemic and African swine fever (ASF) have changed beef consumption patterns through 2020. While total beef consumption has not seen too much change, we have seen distribution channels change, benefiting some at the expense of others. As the impacts of ASF are overcome and disruptions from Covid-19 subside, old distribution channels will recover.
“It is likely that many consumers will revert to their previous habits, but we do see opportunities for...
Rabobank Global Animal Protein Outlook 2021: Emerging From a World of Uncertainty
After a year full of uncertainties, global animal protein is expected to rise again, as it looks for opportunities.
In 2021, Rabobank anticipates production growth in most regions, with the biggest change taking place in Asia, where the impacts of African swine fever (ASF) are fading. Pork is expected to lead that growth – with a gradual recovery process, as ASF is still active. Poultry and aquaculture are also forecast to grow, followed by beef. Wild-catch seafood, however, is expected to decline.
Global animal protein trade continues to create areas of opportunity and risk, with China...
Consumers Likely to Continue Increased Usage of Takeout and Delivery
With indoor dining restaurant traffic significantly curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, the availability of takeout and delivery options became more important for consumers and restaurants. Many foodservice operators began offering these options recently, and consumers have increased their usage of takeout and delivery.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the uptick in takeout and delivery frequency was visible across each of the three major dayparts in recent months. The Association reported that 66% of consumers said they ordered takeout or delivery for dinner last week. That is up from 58% during the last week of February.
The trend was similar for lunch. About 47% of consumers ordered takeout or delivery for lunch last week, a level that has...
Rabobank: The Rise of Food Delivery Platforms
The fast rise of food delivery has created a new powerful middle man in the form of delivery platforms, which are increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Even though the sector has expanded very quickly, most platforms have been losing money for years.
“The business model of delivery platforms has sparked discussion and criticism. Many delivery aggregators are struggling to make profits, with most of them losing money every year,” according to Marjolein Hanssen, Analyst – Consumer Foods.
“On the one hand, investors push them to start making these profits, while on the other hand, food delivery platforms are pressured to...
Getting Granular with Plant-Based Meat Substitutes: Opportunities for Grains, Oilseeds, and Pulses
Plant-based meat substitutes are a rapidly growing segment in an established and large consumer food market, attracting significant investments and consumer acceptance in recent years. Rabobank assesses the potential implications for the grains, oilseeds, and pulses sectors in different regions.
The focus of plant-based meat substitute producers to date has largely been on developing new products using existing ingredient bases and making use of established supply chains. “As consumer preferences start...
Rabobank’s Food and Agri Innovation Fund Invests in Chickpea Protein Foodtech Company InnovoPro
InnovoPro, the plant-based ingredients innovator specialising in innovative chickpea proteins, has secured $18m from investors including Rabobank as part of a second funding round.
The Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, part of Rabobank’s investment arm Rabo Corporate Investments, joined InnovoPro's B round funding as the global food ecosystem continues to evolve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal, which was led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Israels leading VC fund and also included in its second closing ICOS Capital, collaborative venture capital firm...
Rabobank: Pork Quarterly Q4 2020: Export Concentration a Potential Long-Term Risk
Global pork demand rebounded following Covid-19 disruption in most geographies, yet supply remains constrained in many Asian markets. This imbalance continues to support strong export demand from the rest of the world, resulting in sharply higher pork values.
Globally, processors’ ability to respond also remains constrained by labor availability, which limits packer capacity and efficiency. In Europe, new African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks add further limitations. “Hog producers face a challenging outlook, given rising feed costs, weaker economic trends, and slower export growth as China...
Rabobank: Lack of Trade Deal Will Hit EU-UK Food and Agriculture Trade Hard
The absence of an EU-UK trade deal on January 1, 2021 would cause significant economic losses on both sides for companies active in food & agriculture supply chains. The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, warned the world to prepare for a hard Brexit scenario. We therefore urge companies in the food supply chain to be prepared for loss of export and import opportunities and for a future in which additional efforts and administrative costs will have to be made to continue any remaining cross-border trade.
The Hard Brexit Becoming Reality After All
As Rabobank wrote in January 2019 in the note “Consequences of a ‘Hard Brexit’ for Food & Agribusiness: EU Market Closes for UK, While UK Will See Food Price Inflation,” a hard Brexit would hit EU-UK trade in...
The Case for Capacity: Can the U.S. Beef Industry Expand Packing Capacity?
Rabobank’s analysis suggests that an additional 5,000 to 6,000 head daily beef packing capacity would help return US cattle supplies and packing capacity to an historical equilibrium without a sharp contraction in beef cow numbers, while still maintaining packer profitability.
Recent supply chain disruptions in beef packing and processing have amplified the discussion surrounding the need for and feasibility of US beef packing capacity expansion. Adding packing capacity would result in both a larger US beef industry over the long run and more balanced profitability throughout the supply chain. If the US can avoid...
Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly Q4 2020: The Challenge of Balancing Volatile Markets
Moving through Q4 2020 and into 2021, the global poultry industry will operate in a volatile market context, with pressure coming from foodservice and wholesale markets. Possible new waves of Covid-19 will add to the market ups and downs, and the impact of a deep economic crisis will make markets more price-driven.
“Over the whole year, we expect a slight increase in global poultry production, mostly as a result of poultry expansion in China and Vietnam, where African swine fever has reduced pork availability, and also from expansion in the US. The rest of the world will be...
China Declares War on Waste in Food Catering
Ongoing anti-food waste campaigns in China aim to reduce food loss in catering. Although China seems to have no immediate worries about food shortage, the coronavirus pandemic, the geopolitical turmoil, and the escalating trade tensions with leading exporters have the potential to restrict China’s access to edible oil and protein meals. China is highly dependent on these imports, often in the form of oilseeds, which are then domestically processed.
Based on Rabobank’s analysis, eliminating waste in food catering (including restaurants, group dining and food deliveries) could make up to 5% of the nation’s soybean imports (5m metric tons) and 6% of the palm oil imports (0.4m metric tons) unnecessary. In addition, 10m metric tons of feed grains, mostly corn, could also be ‘saved’ this way. As China’s corn is experiencing...
Storm Impacts U.S. Corn Market
A derecho wind storm swept across the US Midwest on August 10, affecting millions of cropland acres in Iowa and surrounding states. At the same time, the western part of Iowa experiences a drought. The storm caused and/or will cause significant local/regional price volatility, quality issues, and storage challenges for this year’s Iowa corn crop. Local and national impacts vary greatly due to large stocks and bumper corn crops in states bordering Iowa and beyond. The derecho and the ongoing drought have put a bottom in the market and point to higher corn prices than the USDA’s projections for the 2020/21 crop year.
Derecho Crosses the Entire US Corn Belt
On August 10, a derecho storm ripped across the Midwest, travelling 770 miles in 14 hours from South Dakota to Ohio. The worst damage was reported in Iowa, where the USDA reported that 57 counties, representing 14.0m acres, incurred...
Rabobank Beef Quaterly Q3 2020: New Faces Shaping Future UK Beef Imports
Once outside the European bloc, the UK is expected to become the fifth or sixth largest beef-importing country. Consumer acceptance and non-tariff barriers will play significant roles in determining which countries ultimately supply the UK beef market in the future.
Brexit trade talks between the UK and EU continue to progress. “While pure economic reasoning and geopolitics normally play strong roles in trade negotiations, we believe that, in the case of the UK, consumer acceptance and non-tariff barriers will be equally significant in determining...
Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q3: More Uncertainties Ahead
Covid-19 brings many uncertainties to the global pork market. With various disruptions to the supply chain, Rabobank has revised down pork production for 2020 in major producing countries.
“Labor shortages, operational suspensions, soft demand, and channel shifting will force industry players to increase automation, adopt digitalization, improve plant working conditions, streamline processing, and integrate along the supply chain in order to...
Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly Q3 2020: Fragile Recovery After COVID-19 Storm
The global poultry industry is recovering from a storm that hit in 1H 2020, and the outlook is gradually improving. Poultry demand will be more bullish in 2H, as Covid-19 containment measurements are eased, lifting demand through foodservice.
Poultry demand is expected to improve in 2H. The biggest market driver will be the economic downturn, making global markets more volatile and price driven. Such conditions are generally positive for poultry, being the cheapest meat protein with a short and flexible production cycle.
Prices will see some recovery after historic lows in 1H. Breast meat should benefit from the reopening of foodservice, although trade will...
Rabobank: U.S. Foodservice Packaging Post COVID-19
U.S. foodservice has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 lockdowns, with effects also spreading to foodservice packaging suppliers. Despite a temporary sharp reduction in foodservice packaging volumes, Rabobank expects a staged recovery against a broader backdrop of economic recession.
Consumer-facing foodservice packaging volume is expected to expand in both limited-service restaurants and full-service restaurants, albeit at a slower rate. As local economies open up and consumers adopt new ways of dining, foodservice packaging should also adapt and innovate to meet...
Foodservice Recovery to Continue Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases
The recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the US and the subsequent expansion of dine-in restrictions in many states and cities appear troubling. While they may weigh on consumer behavior for a short period, Rabobank expects US foodservice recovery to continue as initial hotspots (e.g. New York) show no resurgence, and more importantly, the consumer spending trajectory is largely unchanged in new hotspots (e.g. Florida, Texas, California), likely signaling that the delayed onset in these areas has enabled both businesses and consumers to prepare for the ‘new’ normal.
Another Widespread Shutdown Is Unlikely
Though local and state governments have begun to reimpose restrictions in some hard hit areas, there is little appetite among governments, businesses, or consumers for another...
Pork Remains on the Menu in Spain and Italy Even if Tourists Stay Away
Spain and Italy face a miserable summer tourism season. But does this mean a terrible year for pork, too? Remarkably, Rabobank's analysis shows that decreased international tourist activity will have a limited impact on total pork consumption in these countries.
For the full year of 2020, Rabobank expects a decrease in total pork consumption of about 6% in Spain and 2% in Italy due to reduced demand in foodservice and retail. Furthermore, pork exports to Italy from major exporters, such as Germany, Spain and Denmark, are expected to remain largely unaffected by...
Rabobank Poultry Quarterly Q3 2020: Fragile Recovery After COVID-19 Storm
The global poultry industry is recovering from a storm that hit in 1H 2020, and the outlook is gradually improving. Poultry demand will be more bullish in 2H, as COVID-19 containment measurements are eased, lifting demand through foodservice.
Prices will see some recovery after historic lows in 1H. Breast meat should benefit from the reopening of foodservice, although...
COVID-19 Overshadows African Swine Fever, but ASF’s Influence Prevails
African swine fever remains the dominant issue in global animal protein – as it has been since 2018. But COVID-19 further distorts the outlook, constraining production, consumption, and trade.
ASF is still the major influence on global pork markets, and it continues to impact pig herds and restrict pork production in China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and parts of eastern Europe. As Rabobank does not anticipate an effective vaccine against ASF to be commercially available in 2020, biosecurity measures remain the most effective defense.
Herd recovery is underway in China, and has been proceeding faster than expected, but a further significant drop in...
Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q2 2020: COVID-19 Crisis Disrupts Global Pork Industry
Rabobank expects continued volatility in pork prices in 2020, as disruption in local markets is balanced with product shortfalls in Asia.
“The combined effect of near-term demand destruction and processing interruptions due to labor constraints has weakened producer returns and will slow production growth. Weaker GDP growth could further pressure pork demand, compounding an already challenging operating environment,” according to Christine McCracken, Senior Animal Protein Analyst.
China: Hog price strength reflects slow herd recovery and demand recovery
Hog prices remain elevated on African swine fever (ASF) herd losses and a gradual recovery in the production sector. Producer interest in rebuilding remains...
Rabobank: Initial Impacts of Covid-19 on the Brazilian Consumer
The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted significant pain on the Brazilian consumer, with unemployment rising and incomes set to decline in the coming months. Beyond the initial shock of the lockdown period, in which supermarkets and pharmacies have done well, consumer habits are set to change and resemble some of the trends seen during the last recession in 2015-2016.
Initial Shock and Wider Impact Ahead
- A large part of the country remains in social isolation mode, with no clarity as to when and how such measures will be relaxed or lifted. São Paulo state is signalling a continuation of the quarantine period until at least April 22.
- On April 13, Santa Catarina became the first state to announce the reopening of some retailers, with...
Rabobank: China's Gradual Recovery from Coronavirus
As coronavirus eases across China, life is slowly returning to normal. Different sectors are recovering at different paces, but the impact of the disruption to foodservice and food retail will be ongoing. The slow recovery of China’s foodservice industry and the uplift in food retail sales can give other countries a glimpse of what might happen once the worst of the pandemic has passed.
After nearly two months of lockdowns, life in China is slowly returning to normal. Ministry of Commerce data shows 99% of large manufacturing enterprises have resumed operations. However, the coronavirus changed, at least temporarily, some consumer habits, especially where and how to eat. A Nielsen survey indicates 86% of Chinese consumers said they would...
Coronavirus Takes European Food Delivery on a Bumpy Ride
Food delivery platforms were expected to be one of the few winners of the ‘corona crisis.’ However, platforms seem to have had a rough start, due to both supply and demand developments. Although recovery is seen in some cases, it remains to be seen whether this bumpy ride will get smoother.
Food Delivery Platforms Swell With New Entrants
For foodservice companies, business has drastically changed these last few weeks. Restaurants and bars across Europe were told to shut down and resort to food delivery. Many restaurants have made this shift, from fast-food chains to Michelin-star restaurants.
Even though some restaurants decided to take on the task of delivery themselves, many see the added value of teaming up with delivery platforms such as...
Rabobank: Impact of Coronavirus on Southeast Asian Food & Agribusiness
Southeast Asia will face far-reaching challenges from the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, such as economic decline, reduced out-of-home consumption, and supply chains disruptions, even beyond the lockdowns.
After panic buying, consumers will shift from foodservice to retail and – after a short, suppressed splurge (if any) – to recession-period spending.
Production will also be affected, albeit less, but transporting goods will continue to experience problems due to...
Retail Fresh Produce Demand Soars, but Landmines Remain During Coronavirus Pandemic
The COVID-19 situation has created a surge in fresh produce demand in retail grocery, but challenges around foodservice, logistics, macroeconomics, and labor availability pose ongoing threats. While fresh produce sales through foodservice channels have largely dried up, consumers continue to stock up on grocery items, including fresh produce.
Logistics have been strained, both globally and domestically, but the industry is adapting rapidly. The imminent global recession and rapid climb in the value of the US dollar will continue to threaten global demand, even after the virus is contained. Labor availability constraints and increases in...
Rabobank: Coronavirus' Impact on the U.S. Beverage Landscape by Channel
Rabobank breaks down how coronavirus so far has impacted the US beverage landscape by channel: off-premise and on-premise.
Off-Premise: The Storm Before the Quiet?
The most up-to-date IRI data (through March 8) shows that consumers started to boost food and beverage spending as early as mid-February. Rabobank's sources, however, indicate that there was a drastic shift in consumer behavior starting on March 11 and March 12, at which time consumers really started stocking up on essentials (in fact, the CDC recommends having at least a two-week supply of “essentials”). Reportedly, one major supermarket chain saw record, single-day sales on...
Rabobank: Coronavirus and African Swine Fever to Shake Up Global Poultry Markets
The outlook for global poultry in 2020 will be materially affected by the current coronavirus pandemic, and the ongoing African swine fever (ASF) challenges in the pork industry will bring additional complexity to global markets.
Rabobank expects a further drop in pork production in Asia this year, which could lead to potential growth in local poultry production and international trade, if rising supply chain challenges can be managed. As coronavirus is now expected to cause a global economic slowdown, poultry demand could...
Rabobank: Impact of Coronavirus on European Foodservice
Coronavirus is rapidly spreading across Europe. The travel & tourism (T&T) industry, including domestic and international visitors and business travel, is one of the most affected by the situation. Since travelers represent a significant portion of foodservice demand, revenues for restaurants and bars will decline. The magnitude of this decline will depend on the duration of the crisis, the weight of travel-related demand on total foodservice revenue, and the impact of coronavirus on economic growth.
Travel-Related Demand Under Pressure
Although disruptions to daily life outside Italy (under quarantine) are limited, event cancellations, corporate policies banning business trips, and changes in consumer behavior are...
Rabobank: China's Growing Appetite for Meat Alternatives
‘Meat alternative’ has become a global buzzword since Beyond Meat conducted its stellar Nasdaq IPO. Since then, many meat alternative startups began looking into the Chinese market. The rise of the numerous Chinese startups, such as OmniPork and Zhenmeat, hinge on the belief that China will be a potential consumption market for meat alternatives.
Meat alternatives have been discussed a lot by the public media in the past year. The global frontrunners are US-based companies making beef-like burgers with plant-based ingredients, like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Since Beyond Meat’s IPO, China has witnessed nearly 100 plant-based brands emerge in cities like...
Coronavirus Complicates the African Swine Fever Outlook
While African swine fever remains the dominant issue in global animal protein – with change continuing in China, Southeast Asia and Europe – Coronavirus is now complicating the outlook.
For China, and most of global animal protein, 2019 was a year of unprecedented change. China’s pork production declined by over 20% in 2019, hog and pork prices reached record levels and dragged other protein prices up with them, and animal protein imports were above, or close to, record levels across the species. ASF also impacted pig herds and pork production in other parts of the world – across north Asia and Southeast Asia, and in some parts of Europe. Global animal protein trade was heavily shaped by ASF in 2019, with China’s record demand influencing many markets.
In China, the number of new ASF cases, and the number of re-infections, has been declining. In other parts of Asia, the disease continues to spread, with...
Nutri-Score May Shake Up the Plant Based Alternative Protein Shelf
According to Rabobank, Nutri-Score is likely to challenge consumers’ perceptions in their choice for alternative protein products. Making consumers aware of a food’s nutritional values is what the roll-out of the front-of-pack label in the coming months and years is intended to do in the European market. In this way, Nutri-Score may lead health-driven consumers to change their preferences and processors to change their formulations.
Nutri-Score is a front-of-pack labeling system that grades food products from A to E according to their nutritional level. It has been launched to nudge consumers to make healthier choices in their food preferences and has already been adopted by several...
Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q1: China in the Front Seat for Beef Imports in 2020
We are yet again experiencing a major disruption to one of the world’s largest beef importers, China. “The outbreak of the coronavirus in China has had a major impact on foodservice and trade. With foodservice as the main channel for sales, beef is expected to feel the impact more than others. Indications from the 2003 SARS outbreak suggest that once the virus is contained, sales and trade should rebound quickly. However, the timeframe for control remains uncertain,” according to senior animal protein analyst Angus Gidley-Baird.
In other developments:
US trade deals
Progress was made on the USMCA, and the Japan/US trade deal was approved in December. These were closely followed by the signing of the phase-one US-China trade agreement in January. Although questions remain on...
Rabobank: Slower Growth Prospects as Coronavirus Hits Foodservice in Southeast Asia
In a previous note on the impact of the novel coronavirus (since named Covid-19) on foodservice, Rabobank highlighted how plummeting tourist numbers will necessitate a review of 2020’s foodservice growth prospects for Southeast Asia. Since the publication of that note, some of the tourism authorities in the region have revised their tourist arrival projections for 2020. While the evolving nature of the situation and the indirect impact that tourism has on the overall economy makes projections challenging, with these estimates now available, we can provide a preliminary view of how foodservice growth is likely to be impacted in 2020.
The Importance of Tourism to Foodservice in SEA
Domestic consumers and tourists contribute differently to foodservice consumption and growth in Southeast Asia (SEA). While an increase in per capita occasions and...
Coronavirus Hits Chinese Soy Supply Chain, Lowering Consumption and Import Needs
The outbreak of coronavirus (designated as Covid-19 by the WHO) will hit Chinese soy oil and soymeal consumption, primarily in Q1 and early Q2 2020. Barring an extreme escalation of the epidemic, both are expected to register a robust rebound in 2H 2020.
Due to weakened Chinese demand, strong competition from South America, and seasonal trade patterns, China’s import pace of US soybeans will remain slow in the coming months. Lower-than-previously-anticipated procurement of US soybeans, might run the risk of reigniting the trade war during the US election campaign.
This research is based on the information available to date. As the situation remains fluid, Rabobank is closely monitoring the developments and...
Rabobank: Supply Chains in the Midst of Coronavirus Outbreak
Containment measures to avoid the further spread of the coronavirus are affecting Chinese and global logistics supply chains. China’s domestic transport sector is disrupted, and global logistics operators are seeing their volumes reduced. It will be a challenge to contain the virus with as little interruption to supply chains as possible and to revert to normal quickly.
Containing Measures Are Taking a Toll
In the attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Chinese government enforced a series of stringent quarantine measures that are taking a high toll on domestic and global supply chains.
Hubei province, where the virus started, and Wuhan, its main city, have been on lockdown since the start of the disease. The government extended the Lunar New Year holiday for an extra week, gaining time to contain the disease. However...
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COVID-19 Disruptions Create New Areas of Opportunity and Risk for the Poultry Industry
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