New Report Available: Bangladesh Agribusiness Report Q4 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu Sep 19 2013

We hold a cautious outlook towards the Bangladesh agriculture sector. Coming from a low base, there is much more room for growth and improvement in sub-sectors such as grains and livestock. That said, as the agriculture sector in Bangladesh employs close to 70% of the working population but contributes to only 20% of the country's GDP, there is an obvious need for improvement in efficiency of operations. The existence of small-scale farms continues to hold the sector back from enjoying considerable productivity gains. Indeed, we view the industry's seeming inability to cope with foreign entrants, especially in the poultry sector, as an indication of the inefficiencies within the industry that will need to be tackled as the government seeks to expand the sector.

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Key Forecasts

* Wheat consumption growth to 2017: 13.3% to 4.6mn tonnes. The main drivers of this growth will be increased per capita consumption and population growth.
* Sugar production growth to 2016/17: -9.3% to 68,000 tonnes. With farmers increasingly planting more profitable cash crops such as cotton, we do not foresee the trend of declining sugar production to reverse any time soon.
* Poultry production growth to 2016/17: 17.2% to 232,000 tonnes. Better economic conditions and higher disposable incomes will help to drive demand for meat. Better disease control is also expected to support the recovery of the sector.
* 2013 real GDP growth: 6.1%, down from 6.3% in 2012. Predicted to average 6.3% from 2012 to 2017.
* 2013 consumer price inflation: 7.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) average, from 10.6% y-o-y in 2012. Predicted to average 7.5% from 2012 to 2017.
* 2013 central bank policy rate: 6.75% average, the same level as in 2012. Predicted to average 6.9% from 2012 to 2017.
* BMI universe agribusiness market value: US$21.5bn in 2013 (up from US$20.8bn in 2012; forecast to grow annually by 4.0% on average to 2017)

Key Developments

The government allowed in 2011/12 exports of aromatic rice to help farmers earn better returns after nearly four years of export ban on rice exports . However, export of non-aromatic rice is still banned due to price fluctuations and low storage capacities. The country is now aiming to increase its rice storage capacity to around 3mn tonnes by 2020, around 76% from the current capacity of 1.7mn tonnes, in order to increase food security and aromatic rice export capacity in years of bumper harvests. The increase in storage capacity will maintain stocks and help to prevent export bans should domestic rice prices increase.

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