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Agribusiness Report Q4 2014 of Thailand, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South West Africa and Bangladesh Have Been Launched from


Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/28/2014 -- Thailand will maintain its status as a key Asian agricultural provider in the coming years, as the sector benefits from strong export opportunities and government support as well as an efficient foodproducing industry. The sugar and livestock sectors are especially promising; however, the government's interference in the market, especially in the rice sector, will hinder the competitiveness of Thailand's production relative to its Asian rivals. Thailand will remain a key rice exporter but may lose out to secondary exporters owing to growing instability in its trade policy.

Key Forecasts
- Poultry production growth to 2017/18: 30.6% to 1.97mn tonnes. This growth will largely be due to increased private investment in the sector. The lift of an eight-year EU ban on uncooked imports in April 2012 will allow imports of Thai-produced poultry and other food products and give the industry more impetus to expand production.
- Sugar consumption growth to 2018: 26.5% to 3.3mn tonnes. Thailand's sugar consumption is growing fast, boosted by caching consumption patterns and the rising demand for carbonated soft drinks and confectionery sales.
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Zimbabwe Agribusiness Report Q4 2014:
Although we have revised up our corn production forecasts for the 2013/14 season, we remain relatively pessimistic over the long term. Indeed, even with the output upgrades, the US Department of Agriculture expects Zimbabwe to import a record amount of corn in 2013/14. Over the long term, we expect production of the grain to demonstrate moderate growth, although this will partly be due to base effects, and we see the country remaining a net importer over the long term. We are slightly more optimistic regarding the sugar sector, where access to key markets and potential for productivity improvements will drive production over the long term. Although we forecast a domestic sugar market surplus, the sector remains below potential, and our forecasts are relatively subdued.

Key Forecasts
- Corn production to 2017/18: 35.8% on the 2012/13 level to 1.3mn tonnes. We project relatively strong growth over the long term, but the country will remain a net importer.
- Sugar production to 2017/18: up 13.5% on the 2012/13 level to 544,700 tonnes. An overall improvement in sugar cane yields, greater efficiency of mills and long-term access to export markets will be key drivers of production growth.
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Uganda Agribusiness Report Q4 2014:
We see potential for output growth in corn and coffee, two of the main crops in Uganda. For coffee, we see Uganda as an East African leader in terms of exports, largely owing to government support for the sector, particularly new disease-resistant trees. Moreover, coffee prices are higher year-on-year, meaning farmers will be able to invest in their crops. We expect Uganda to remain a net corn exporter in the coming years, although most of its corn will be shipped regionally. The country is unlikely to compete with South Africa and Zambia as Sub-Saharan Africa's largest corn exporters.

Key Views
- Coffee production growth to 2017/18: 6.0% to 3.8mn 60kg bags. The Uganda Coffee Development Authority's production campaign has developed new disease-resistant coffee trees; this is expected to boost yields over our forecast period. However, lower average coffee prices over the medium term will act as a constraint on production growth.
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South West Africa Agribusiness Report Q4 2014:
We expect food security in South West Africa to improve over the short term, as we expect higher corn production from Zambia in 2014/15. Over the medium term, we see downside risks to corn production in the region owing to new reforms introduced in Zambia that aim to reduce farm subsidies. Although this will help to improve the country's current account balance, it may lead to deteriorating food security across the region as farmers respond to lower prices. Even with reduced production incentives, we expect Zambia to easily remain the region's largest corn producer and exporter, while other countries in the region will struggle to maintain production surpluses. We see potential in the Angolan sugar sector due to recent investments coming on stream, and are relatively optimistic regarding Zambia's recent announcement that it will begin producing ethanol in the coming years.

Key Views
- Zambian corn production growth from 2013/14 to 2017/18: 5.3% to 3.7mn tonnes. The expectation of high corn prices is likely to lead to a continued rise in corn plantings in the coming years, although reduced government support is a strong downside production risk, and much of this growth will be due to low base effects.

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Bangladesh Agribusiness Report Q4 2014:
We hold a cautious outlook towards the Bangladesh agriculture sector. The latest finding of high levels of toxic substances in poultry feed bring much cause for concern has it reflects on the low food safety standards employed by the country, even in the country's largest agriculture sector. Indeed, structural problems still plague the industry. In the medium term for example, the frequent occurrences of strikes, or hartals and road blockages will keep our optimism for the industry at bay as these often aggravate the logistical challenges of food transportation within the country, causing the biggest hurt to the farmers. Over the long term, we believe that there is much more room for growth and improvement in sub-sectors such as grains and livestock. That said, as the agriculture sector in Bangladesh employs close to 70% of the working population but contributes to only 20% of the country's GDP; there is an obvious need for improvement in efficiency of operations.GM food policy is also an interesting area to look out for as Bangladesh is undoubtedly one of the most open Asian countries to GM food cultivation.
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