Veronique Aguera: The main achievement of 2020 is the sustainability of the dairy industry
‘When we presented our market forecasts last year, all the signals were positive and we expected a good 2020. Instead, we had a pandemic with a large demand shock, serious disruptions in the logistics and a lockdown. What do we see now? Milk production will grow: in the EU, we expect an increase of 1.1-1.3%, in the US it can be as much as + 1.9%. Prices have not collapsed and we have already revised our production forecasts upwards, as is the case for cheese in the EU, which should have a good year, driven by robust exports and better-than-expected domestic consumption. The market has compensated for the shocks from consumer demand and this is a great achievement,’ she said.
Veronique Aguera also noted that catering industry was probably mostly affected in 2020.
‘We see a significant decline in sales in the food service sector in all markets, and we do not expect this sector to return to growth in 2021, with the exception of China. Right now in Europe, restaurants and cafes are still closed, and no one knows when they will be able to open again. At the beginning of the pandemic, this was a big problem for suppliers involved in servicing the HoReCa sector. Some of them have been able to adapt, but not all of them, and the lesson for the future is that flexibility of companies in moving from one market to another will become increasingly important,’ she explained.
In addition, according to the expert, milk production will continue to grow in the main producing regions, which is facilitated by relatively good prices.
‘We expect consumption to be dynamic if the covid-19 vaccination campaign goes well both in Europe and around the world. We expect a more or less stable situation in the world,’ added Veronique Aguera.
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