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Central America Agribusiness Report Q2 2013 - New Market Study Published

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Central America Agribusiness Report Q2 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/05/2013 -- The Central America coffee sector is set to see strong production in 2012/13 on the back of large plantings and better investment capacity. However, we believe low global prices could discourage production in the coming years, putting downside risks to the development of the sector in the medium term. The region is generally dependent on imports for corn, and we expect the production deficit to widen over our forecast period. That said, Central America is expected to remain self sufficient in sugar and even increase its potential for sugar exports, with the industry having potential to attract investment over the medium term.

- Coffee production growth to 2016/17: 24.1% to 16.2mn bags. As the region becomes more attractive to investors, we expect the coffee sector to see increased export opportunities. That said, there are major downside risks to this view, as the region will continue to be exposed to security risks, disease outbreaks and adverse weather patterns.
- Corn consumption growth to 2016/17: 11.1% to 6.8mn tonnes. Demand growth for corn will far outpace production in Central America, affecting prices and keeping the area import-dependent for its grain needs.
- Sugar production growth to 2016/17: 11.3% to 5.0mn tonnes. Most countries in the region will continue to run a small production surplus out to 2016/17, and development of the export industry could present upside risks to our production forecasts over the long term.
- 2013 real GDP growth: 3.4% year-on-year (y-o-y). Down from 3.2% in 2012 and predicted to average 3.5% over 2012-2017.
- Consumer price inflation: 4.9% y-o-y in 2013. Up from 4.8% in 2012 and predicted to average 5.1% over 2012-2017.

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Industry Outlook

We see strong downside risks for coffee producers in Central America, as leaf rust has the potential to impact production in nearly every country. Downgrades to output could have a significant impact on both the domestic front (as the coffee sector is one of the largest regional employers) and coffee prices, which have rebounded in recent weeks after being one of the worst performing commodities in 2012. Central America remains a key contributor to the global export market. We ultimately expect prices to break through current multi-month resistance and to average higher than spot values.

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