Expert says 2014 meat outlook is positive

Richard Brown, director of consultancy and research company Gira, talked positively about the trading environment for the UK meat industry at the AHDB Outlook Conference on Wednesday.

He said: “I think it’s a positive outlook for the meat sector for 2014 and longer term.

“The economic growth situation is better, and we’re looking at a 1.5% continual meat consumption growth, which is positive. The processors are in good shape too.

“We’re looking at overall global meat demand growth while feed costs are well down. There is global GDP growth, even in Europe, which is positive after a tough 2013. We are in fundamentally better times; people are spending more money on meat.”

Brown addressed the subject of international trade in the session in Westminster, chaired by AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor. He pointed out where the UK should look to for progress.

“China is rapidly emerging as a very important destination. It is a very clear story of import growth, this is extremely promising for the meat industry. This is across all the species - there’s a considerable amount of sheepmeat going into China, and this is very unlikely to change. This new dynamic in the sheep trade is very important to us,” he said.

Brown also said export potential to China was good for pigmeat. He told the audience that Chinese pigmeat prices are very high, while demand is growing and supply is struggling to keep up, providing a huge incentive to get into this market.

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