Production growth brings competition for animal protein processors

Production growth brings competition for animal protein processors
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Salvador Aznar

The production of animal protein is booming globally, with producers and processors set to seize on a variety of opportunities.

According to RaboResearch’s Animal Protein Outlook for 2018 competition in the animal protein production space is emerging between the species for share of consumer wallet and between exporters for access to import destinations.

“Rabobank expects animal protein production to increase in all regions, with total production growth once again surpassing the ten-year average,” said Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist – Animal Protein at Rabobank.

“This strong production increase is mainly being driven by Brazil, China, and the US.”

Looking at production across species, beef joins pork as a strong contributor to global expansion. In 2018, global beef production is expected to expand for a third consecutive year, and global pork production is expected to see another year of significant expansion. Poultry production is also expected to grow, but will be down slightly on 2017.

In seafood, aquaculture continues to drive seafood supply growth. Sustainable growth in the seafood industry solely depends on aquaculture, although we expect the wild catch industry to recover after El Niño recedes in 2017.

Zooming in, the salmon market is recovering, fishmeal prices will stabilize, and the shrimp industry is likely to continue growing.

While specific trade outcomes will also reflect growing demand, access issues and policy decisions, Rabobank expects trade to represent an important area of both opportunity and uncertainty over the coming year.

Uncertainty in 2018 will come from the heavy overlay of politics in trade policy—such as the NAFTA negotiation, Brexit and the US – China trade relationship—which is not new but does seem to have become more common, and from biosecurity issues—such as Avian Influenza, African Swine Fever and EHP (a fungal infection in shrimp)—which again appear susceptible to political involvement.

Looking beyond markets and trade, Rabobank sees four other issues that will dominate the headlines for animal protein in 2018: increasing although uneven industry consolidation, the evolving retail landscape, alternative proteins, and technology.