Market outlook moves online

More than 150 delegates logged on to the first digital AHDB Livestock Outlook to hear the latest analysis from experts across meat and grain markets.

The event saw analysts from AHDB Market Intelligence cover outlooks for beef, lamb, pork and feed grains for the coming year.

The final presentation, by AHDB Head of Strategic Insight David Swales, looked at the potential implications of Brexit for the livestock sectors.

The new webinar this year replaced the livestock Outlook Conference, held in central London for a number of years.

AHDB Pork Strategy Director Mick Sloyan, who chaired the event, said: “The Outlook event has always been a source of vital information for delegates to make informed business decisions based on the global market environment. By moving it online, we have been able to reach a wider group of levy payers, all at their own convenience.”

Feedback for the format has been positive and presentations from the webinar have been viewed more than 300 times since the event. The AHDB Livestock Outlook webinars are free to watch.

Brexit and the livestock sector

Access to the EU market would not be competitive for many agricultural products if UK exports were exposed by the EU’s common external tariff, according to AHDB’s David Swales.

Beef, pig meat and sheep meat tariffs typically run at between 40 and 65 per cent of the price of the product, meaning the UK would be forced to look elsewhere to trade.

With total food and drink exports valued at £18 billion and 63 per cent of these going to the EU, this would mean the industry would have to change tack.

The fastest growing markets around the world tend to be countries which currently have no trade agreement with the EU, potentially offering the UK an opportunity to strike new deals.

The proportion of middle class consumers at global level will double by 2030, with two thirds of the global share in the Asia-Pacific area rising from 28 per cent in 2009, due to a combination of population growth and economic growth.

Mr Swales said: “There is a potentially significant opportunity going forward to establish trade deals where there is growth in the middle class. At this sort of income level, these consumers will adopt a more Westernised diet, they will have more flexibility over what they spend and will start to eat both meat and dairy products more often.

“In the Asia-Pacific area the proportion of these consumers is set to raise six-fold, at the moment there is only one fully-ratified existing agreement in this area, between the EU and South Korea, so there could be major potential for UK trade in the future.”