BMI View: Recent developments in Vietnam’s economic and business environment s add further weight to our positive view on its agribusiness sector.
The industry holds strong growth opportunities in terms of production, exports and retail sales, particularly with regard to the rice, coffee, livestock and dairy sectors. Moreover, economic and financial integration in South East Asia will benefit Vietnam’s exports of rice, dairy and coffee.
However, Vietnam is facing growing competition in its key markets . T he fulfilment of its promising potential will only be achieved if the country steps up its competitiveness and improves both product quality and supply chain efficiency.
Vietnam will have to significantly ramp up investments on crop productivity in order to not be left behind and , if it does, it will be able to produce more value-added crops and maintain its status as an export spearhead.
Strong Growth Ahead
|Vietnam – BMI Market Value & Select Commodities Production Growth (2010-2020)|
|e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: National sources, BMI|
Pork production growth to 2019/20: 19.9% to 3.0mn tonnes. After going through challenging times amidst high feed costs, disease outbreaks and weaker growth, the livestock sector has been on the recovery trend since 2014-2015. Growth will remain strong in the medium term, helped by higher local meat prices and economic growth.
Milk production growth to 2019/20: 61.9% to 876,000 tonnes. Dramatic increases in cattle numbers and increased public and private sector investment – part of the effort to reduce the country’s growing import dependency – will be the main boost to growth. Commercialisation will also play a key role as larger, more efficient farms come to play a greater role in milk production.
Sugar consumption growth to 2020: 23.0% to 2.4mn tonnes. Rising incomes, population growth and increased consumption of manufactured food products will help sugar consumption grow quickly in the coming years. Domestic production growth will not be able to keep up with consumption expansion.
2016 BMI universe agribusiness market value: USD41.1bn (up from USD38.9bn in 2015; growth expected to average 4.5% annually between 2016 and 2020).
2016 real GDP growth: 6.3% (down from 6.7% in 2015; predicted to average 6.3% over 2016-2020).
2016 consumer price index: 2.1% y-o-y (up from 0.6% in 2015; predicted to average 4.3% over 2016-2020).
The 2015-2016 El Nino episode, which ended in May according to the Australia Bureau Of Meteorology, caused severe weather disruption to Vietnam. The country recorded low rainfall in 2015 and a drought over most of H116. This will lead to a decline in rice production and a slowdown in coffee output in 2015/16.
The return to more normal weather conditions bodes well for the 2016/17 grains crop and we forecast agriculture to recover next season. However, the coffee crop is likely to decline as trees were affected by the H116 drought, and some coffee farmers are switching to more profitable crops including pepper.
Improvement in Vietnam’s economic activity in 2016 will help consumer spending increase after weak demand in 2014 weighed on demand for value-added agricultural products, including dairy. The stronger economic outlook, coupled with some reforms regarding foreign investment and state-owned enterprises are attracting a growing amount of domestic and foreign investors and reaffirm our bullish view on the agribusiness sector. Vietnam is seeing a wave of private investment in its upstream (farming) and downstream (dairy product manufacturing and distribution) dairy sector. The feed sector is also attracting investors, such as Cargill, which opened its 11th feed mill in May 2016, and Royal De Heus, which opened a seventh feed factory in April 2016. The dairy sector is also recording strong investment and output growth.
Several sectors are also monitoring the development of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will reduce tariffs if implemented. In particular, livestock producers are looking at restructuring in order to increase their competitiveness.
The Mekong River is one of the key elements behind our positive outlook for Vietnam, as it is the cornerstone behind its fertile lands. However, two key risks are hovering over the river and its impact on the region’s agriculture. The most pressing is linked to the upcoming boom in hydropower along the river, as the planned construction of multiple dams will drastically change river flow and, therefore, the ecosystems, irrigation and land profile of the regions alongside the river. Climate change is posing a more insidious and longer-term risk to the future prospects of agriculture in the Mekong region, as it will lead to a significant increase in average temperatures and to the reduction in the size of the Mekong delta via coastal erosion, rising sea levels and the growing salinity of arable land.