Greece Agribusiness Report 2010BMI View: The tough fiscal consolidation plan that Greece has committed to in exchange for an EU and IMF bailout will cause no small measure of pain in agriculture.
On the supply side, farmers will struggle to secure credit, investment will suffer and some smaller producers may go out of business. On the demand side, more unemployment and economising by cash-strapped consumers will see consumption of some commodities suffer, notably beef, pork and wheat. ! Poultry production to fall 0.5% in 2010 to 173,000 tonnes; pork output to fall 1.2% year-on-year to 113,000 tonnes; beef to drop 2.1% to 55,900 tonnes. ! Financial crisis likely to exert downward pressure on wheat prices and starve the industry of investment over the forecast period. From 2009-2014, production to fall from 1.84mn tonnes in 2009/10 to 1.80mn tonnes in 2013/14. ! In 2010, we forecast Greek rice production to fall by 3.0% to 199,000 tonnes. Over our five-year forecast period from 2009, we are forecasting growth in output of 11.0%, owing to expected yield gains. We now forecast production in 2014 standing at 227,000 tonnes. ! Less efficient dairies are likely to go out of business, credit will be difficult to secure and investment will be scaled back. Latest figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization put 2008 milk production at 2.09mn tonnes. In 2009, we estimate it fell to 2.07mn tonnes. For 2010 we now forecast another slight reduction in milk output to 2.05mn tonnes. ! Commitment to deeper fiscal cuts has prompted a revision to our 2010 growth forecast to -4.6% from a previous -2.0%. Additional spending cuts will also fuel public discontent, resulting in further demonstrations and national strikes which will continue to cripple the economy. These could result in serious disruption to agricultural production and distribution, and pose a downside risk to our forecasts. ! The European Commision should come up with new proposals for the dairy industry based on the UN's High Level Group report in December. One is likely to be boosting farmers' bargaining power by establishing contractual arrangements between them and the dairy processing industry. A futures market for dairy may also be recommended with a view to decreasing volatility. It is difficult to predict exactly what form these proposals will take, but they will likely have influenced Greek dairy production by the end of our forecast period
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