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Food and drink market outlook for Singapore

Despite lacking the most significant ingredient for robust private consumption growth, that is a favourable demographic profile, Singapore's long-term consumer picture remains reasonably positive on the back of a rapid influx of foreign immigrants, low unemployment levels and a robust tourism scene. In addition, the solid premiumisation opportunity on offer here means that Singapore will continue to enjoy a place in multinational food and beverage players' balanced geographic portfolios. The likes of Fonterra, Fraser & Neave, NestlÈ and Asia Pacific Breweries have clearly benefited from the high existing spending levels here and will continue to leverage on these levels to support their push into higher-growth developing markets. Headline Industry Data ï 2010 Food Consumption = +1.2%; forecast to 2015 = +4.2% ï 2010 Alcoholic Drinks Consumption = +4.5%; forecast to 2015 = +22.8% ï 2010 Soft Drinks Consumption = +3.1%; forecast to 2015 = +15.8% ï 2010 Mass Grocery Retail Sales = +4.7%; forecast to 2015 = +21.4% Industry Trends & Developments Carrefour Malay And Singaporean Sales Come To A Halt - French retailer Carrefour has withdrawn its 23 Malaysian stores and two Singaporean outlets from sale after a strategic review. While Carrefour has successfully sold its Thailand stores to Casino Guichard-Perrachon, the retailer failed to garner enticing bids for its Singaporean and Malaysian stores and has therefore decided to retain these operations. In our opinion, the limited distribution opportunities in Singapore's mass grocery retail (MGR) sector are likely to have quelled investors' acquisitional interest in Carrefour's combined network of Singaporean and Malaysian stores, which explains their lower-than-expected bid values. Geographical Diversification Key To Future Growth - With a wide geographical spread across developed economies, emerging and frontier markets, Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) has demonstrated its capacity to deliver stellar sales growth. The brewer recorded a 25.6% and 62.5% growth in net sales and income respectively for FY10 (end September). On a similar note, Singapore-based food and beverage producer Fraser & Neave (F&N) posted an increase of 11% in FY10 revenues (end September), to SGD5.7bn (US$4.3bn), on the back of surging demand in its regional markets of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Vietnam. Faced with a mature domestic market such as Singapore, we would expect international expansion to remain key to domestic players' growth strategies, with developing markets in particular holding the key to potentially explosive long-term growth prospects. Risks to Outlook Resilience In The Global Economy - We are currently forecasting a slight dip in Singapore's real GDP growth for 2011, based on our expectation of a secondary global economic slowdown. However, should the global economy prove to be more resilient than we expect, Singapore can outperform our GDP growth projection of 3.3% in 2011. This better-than-expected growth could feed into greater consumer spending and presents an upside risk to our already-bullish private consumption growth forecast. Slowdown in China - Given that China now accounts for an estimated 10% of Singapore's total exports, China's monetary tightening measures could take a worse-than-expected toll on Singapore's export growth and weigh on consumer sentiment, thus negatively impacting domestic demand growth.

by S. C.
07 may 2011, World News > Asia