China to drive global agricultural commodity demand over next decade

Rabobank survey shows executives looking to China in long term

China’s continued influence on agricultural commodity demand and global economic growth stand out as a key issue for North American food, beverage and agribusiness in 2013 and over the next decade, according to a recent poll of Rabobank clients. The poll of over 350 executives from leading companies in the North American food, beverage and agribusiness industry was conducted at Rabobank’s Markets Forum held in New York City.

Despite recent signs of slowing economic growth in China, 61 percent of executives polled by Rabobank see China continuing to be the most important driver of long-term global economic growth. Forty one percent of respondents said China would drive the global economy for between five and 10 more years, while 40 percent said China will remain the primary driver of global economic growth for the next 50 years.   

“These results are not surprising and reflect the significant impact that China has had on the food and agribusiness industry over the past 10 years, globally as well as in North America,” said Bill Cordingley, head of Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory for Rabobank in the Americas. “China today has the second-largest middle class in the world at 157 million, which will surpass the U.S.’s middle class in the next ten years, so China’s demand for agricultural commodities is going to continue to grow. 

“Our North American clients in the food, beverage and agriculture sectors see opportunities to play a role in the Chinese market, not only as exporters but also as investors in the country’s domestic growth by bringing technology, know-how and capital to support development of a more modern, safe food system in China,” said Cordingley.