The economic downturn of two main export markets - Brazil and Angola - has led to reduced exports and, to some extent, investment levels in the sector.
- The Portuguese food sector is expected to grow 0.3% in 2016 and 1.8% in 2017. The economic downturn of two main export markets - Brazil and Angola - has led to reduced exports and, to some extent, investment levels in the sector. Investments are also negatively affected by Portugal´s more subdued GDP growth rate forecasts for 2016 and 2017 (1.0% and 1.2% respectively).
- Producer price deflation in 2014 and 2015 had a negative impact on businesses' margins. Mainly affected was the meat subsector as a result of the Russian import ban. Profitability of food businesses has declined due to strong competition and price wars in the food retail segment. However, both consumer and producer food prices have increased again in 2016, which should have a positive effect on profit margins.
- Non-payment notifications remained stable in 2016, and we expect no increase in 2017. As a result of the food sector's resilience and stable payment behaviour we are supportive in our underwriting stance. However, we are more restrictive when underwriting the meat subsector, which still suffers from overproduction and decreasing overseas sales.