Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/09/2014 -- Colombia's agricultural sector faces a number of challenges in the medium term. Key export crops - such as coffee and cocoa - have underperformed in recent years owing to a lack of investment in infrastructure and serious outbreaks of disease. Although regeneration work is under way, it will take time to bear fruit. The strength of the Colombian peso against the US dollar is also posing challenges for the agribusiness sector, as the competitiveness of Colombia's exports is being eroded. Finally, there is still unrest among dairy, livestock and grain producers who fear that the entry into force of the Colombia-EU free trade agreement will further erode their profitability. The Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to support these sectors to adapt to the arrival of inexpensive imports; however, ongoing efforts to improve infrastructure and modernise production techniques will be required.
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- Sugar consumption growth to 2017: 9.3% to 1.93mn tonnes. This will mainly be driven by increases in the consumption of confectionery products as per capita incomes rise amid a growing youth population.
- Poultry production growth to 2016/17: 11.3% to 1.24mn tonnes. The consolidation of the sector will accelerate in the coming years following a difficult period in which poultry producers struggled with soaring feed prices and sluggish demand.
- Coffee production growth to 2016/17: 36.5% to 10.44mn tonnes. Production will be aided by programmes to replace aging plantations and improve resistance to disease. However, we remain cautious about the long-term trajectory of Colombian coffee production, especially with prices currently low and given the strong Colombian peso.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: US$15.1bn in 2014; up from US$14.8bn in 2013. Growth expected to average 2.6% annually between 2013 and 2017.
- 2014 real GDP growth: 4.5%; up from 4.3% in 2013. Forecast to average 4.5% from 2013 to 2017.
- 2014 consumer price index: 3.0%; up from 2.1% in 2013. Forecast to average 3.1% from 2013 to 2017.
- 2014 central bank policy rate (average): 4.00%; up from 3.25% in 2012. Forecast to average 4.25% from 2013 to 2017.
Key Revisions To Forecasts
- 2012/13 coffee production forecast revised up, to 9.90mn 60kg bags (compared with a previous forecast of 9.4mn bags), as favourable weather and the first harvest of new higher-yielding trees boosted output in the last six months of the season.
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