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Opportunities remain wide open for African poultry

Several international companies develop positions in Africa, including retail and restaurant chains, animal nutrition companies and breeding companies.

The sub-Saharan African poultry and egg industries have developed fast over the last decade, and this is increasingly attracting interest from local and international investors, according to Rabobank’s report “Time for Africa: Opportunities Remain Wide Open for African Poultry.”

In the time since releasing a similar report in 2016, Rabobank said it has seen ongoing investments in the $25 billion African poultry and egg industries, driven by strong long-term fundamentals. This has recently accelerated again after a slowdown in 2016-17 that resulted from economic volatility in some African countries, especially those with a high dependence on oil and mining.

The report noted that several international companies have developed their positions in Africa, including modern retail and restaurant chains, animal nutrition companies, breeding companies and equipment suppliers. Rabobank said production is still dominated by local companies, and internationalization is managed by a few large African investors, but the bank added that early international investors are taking positions to leverage the future growth path of Africa – one of the world’s largest pending growth markets (around 15% of the upcoming 20-year growth in global poultry).

“The middle class in Africa is expected to continue growing as the population doubles and more people move to big cities. These core fundamentals, together with the untapped potential of local feed grain production, offer an attractive investment opportunity,” according to Nan-Dirk Mulder, senior animal protein analyst at Rabobank.

This, he said, will all lead to ongoing market growth and modernization at all stages of the value chain, creating an increasingly interesting platform for international investors.

“The growing demand and modernization of the supply chain will create additional demand for all input manufacturers, like equipment, animal nutrition, genetics and animal health. Companies in these sectors also need to position themselves to serve Africa’s rising demand better.”

Mulder further relayed that investors need to realize that conditions in Africa can be challenging and require a very strategic investment assessment that takes into consideration all major factors, like business climate, market growth, supply and infrastructure.

“If this is done well, the potential upside is big,” Mulder said.

According to the report, Africa’s egg industry is growing by 3.9% per year, while the poultry meat industry is growing by 4.9%. Both are projected to rise, with poultry meat industry growth expected to rise 8-10% per year and eggs expected to rise 7-9% per year.

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