Weak investment climate threatens sector
By Fiona Robinson, SeaFood Business editor and associate publisher
30 January, 2013
The main problem with the U.S. economy is the lack of investment in the business sector, according to Dr. Michael Swanson, senior VP agricultural economist and consultant with Wells Fargo & Co. Swanson led the keynote session at the second day of the Global Seafood Market Conference at the Loews in Santa Monica, Calif., which featured an economic outlook and possible impacts on commodities.
“We have some of the worst business investment in decades,” said Swanson.
He predicted the protein sector will see a lot of volatility going forward. “Between oil and corn, you have a lot of variables that can change your world.”
“I’m a bear on the oil market; we will see downward pressure on oil prices. I think China’s growth will moderate over time and there will be more oil coming online in next few years.”
Jan Lambregts, global head of financial markets research at Rabobank, also addressed the keynote session with an overview of global market impacts on the protein sector. Several factors are contributing to continued global economic uncertainty, including an increase in youth unemployment, especially in the North Africa market that threatens stability in the whole region.
While economic growth in Asia “is formidable,” noted Lambregts, Japan in particular needs to be watched closely because the Japanese Yen is a lot stronger than it should be. “It’s the crisis of unintended consequences. We don’t know where liquidity will end up and when the bubble will pop.”
The second day of the Global Seafood Market Conference in Santa Monica ended with the Board of Directors meeting. Henry Demone, president and CEO of High Liner Foods and outgoing chairman of the board at the National Fisheries Institute handed the gavel over to incoming chairman Chris Lischewski, president and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods LLC.
30 January, 2013