Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/01/2014 -- We have grown less cautious about South Korea's economic growth trajectory, following stronger than expected growth in 2013 (buoyed mainly by the manufacturing and construction sectors) and revised our forecasts up to 2.5% for the year. We now forecast real growth of 3.0% over 2014. However, Korean trade momentum is likely to face continuing headwinds from China. Domestically, the construction rebound that we witnessed last year is unlikely to extend through 2014 as the property market remains dormant, while household debt will continue to crimp spending by the Korean consumer.
Headline Industry Data (Local Currency)
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- 2014 per capita food consumption = +2.3%; forecast 2013 to 2018 = +4.2%.
- 2014 alcoholic drink value sales = +2.5%; forecast 2013 to 2017 = +4.7%.
- 2014 soft drink value sales = +4.3%; forecast 2013 to 2017 = +5.6%.
- 2014 mass grocery retail sales = +5.7%; forecast 2013 to 2017 = +8.4%.
Key Industry Trends And Developments
Desmet Ballestra Installs Soybean Oil Processing Equipment: UK-based plant supply firm Desmet Ballestra has set up oil refining and processing equipment developed by Cavitation Technologies (CTI) at its soybean oil refinery in South Korea. The new equipment can process more than 200 tonnes of soybean oil per day. 'The South Korean refinery marks our 15th installation either completed or under contract,' said CTI CTO Roman Gordon, as reported by Food Business Review.
Whisky Sales Continue To Fall: Overall whisky sales in South Korea during the first 10 months of 2013 fell by 12.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 1.5 million cases, as reported by Yonhap News Agency. The decline has been attributed to the prolonged economic slowdown in the country, with consumers reportedly choosing 'lighter and cheaper' drinks over spirits such as whisky.
South Korea, Malaysia And Thailand Remain Top International Priority For Tesco: Tesco's policy of 'disciplined international growth' has seen the retail giant reduce its overseas capital investment, allocated proportionately according to perceived scope for growth. In both the company's 2013 annual report and its 2013/14 interim results statement (released in October 2013), Korea, Malaysia and Thailand were identified as being Tesco's highest international priority and were continuing to deliver excellent performance (despite headline growth in South Korea being marred by the recent legislative restrictions on large store opening hours etc). For the half-year ending 24 August 2013 the company's Asia region trading profit (excluding China) stood at GBP314mn (up 7.4% y-o-y).
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