Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/17/2012 -- BMI View: Our outlook for Qatar's food and drink sector remains very strong, in line with our positive outlook for the consumer sector in general. The main driver behind this forecast growth is the country's enviable economic outlook. We forecast Qatar's economy to grow by 7.8% and 7.3% in real terms in 2012 and 2013 respectively, down from our estimate of 14.7% in 2011. Most of the slowdown is due to a decrease in the pace of hydrocarbon export growth, while the non-hydrocarbon economy is set to continue growing at a rapid pace. That said, private consumption, government consumption and fixed capital formation will grow at only marginally lower rates this year compared to 2011. Although the era of double-digit real GDP growth is probably at an end, we remain optimistic about the country's economic potential over the coming years.
Looking ahead, leading indicator data supports a positive outlook for household consumption, as credit growth grew 24.1% and 30.3% y-o-y in January and February respectively. Over the long term, our optimistic view on Qatar's economic growth potential is underpinned by the country's ambitious projects covering both the energy sector and the private non-hydrocarbon economy. Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup football championship is a positive development and will increase the country's international exposure, provide a significant boost to the development of the non-hydrocarbon sector of the economy, and help to improve investor risk perceptions of the country.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2012 food consumption growth = +6.0%; forecast to 2016 = +35.2%.
- 2012 soft drinks value sales = +9.0%; forecast to 2016 = +51.9%.
- 2012 mass grocery retail sales = +7.6%; forecast to 2016 = +45.9%.
- 2012 supermarket sales = +2.9%; forecast to 2016 = +23.8%.
Key Industry Trends And Developments
Hassad Food, an arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and the country's main food importer, announced in April 2012 that it may invest as much as EUR500mn (US$618mn) around the world in 2012 alone. The company plans to expand globally by acquiring agricultural companies, but in Australia it has been working on land acquisitions. In May 2012 it was announced that Hassad will soon start exports of grain and wool from Australia, as it will soon complete a AUS$500mn (US$486mn) farm investment plan. Hassad has purchased thousands of hectares of farmlands in Western Australia this year in order to increase supplies of sheep, wheat and barley.
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