Worldwide demand for food processing machinery is projected to rise 4.6 per cent annually up until 2006, to $21 billion (€22bn), according to a study conducted by US industrial market research group Freedonia.
The major factor fuelling global market growth over the next four years will be ongoing economic expansion in developing nations, most notably in Asia, leading to increases in employment, personal income and consumer spending for processed food products. Continuing industrialisation efforts will also result in stepped up investment in food and beverage manufacturing facilities, helping to stimulate demand for food processing equipment.
Sales increases will be strongest in the developing Asia/Pacific countries and Mexico. India is expected to be the fastest growing national market worldwide, with demand benefiting from above average gains in food and beverage production. China, the world's second largest food processing machinery market behind the US, will also record the second fastest rate of increase up to 2006, trailing only India. Prospects for growth are also favourable in Eastern Europe, as economic transition programmes in place in these countries continue to filter down to the consumer sector in the form of rising living standards. Equipment demand will accelerate in the US and Japan as well, as economic conditions continue to improve.
Among the major product categories, demand for meat and poultry products equipment is expected to grow the fastest through to 2006. Sales will be driven by rising living standards in developing nations, helping to make processed meat, poultry and seafood products more affordable.
In industrialised parts of the world, growing demand for food that requires little preparation will lead to additional processing by meat packers stimulating associated machinery sales. Industrial bakery and industrial cooking/heating equipment will also register above average market gains, with growth in the bakery product segment being supported by rising demand for bread, pastries and other baked goods in developing countries as employment and income levels rise.
The vast majority of food processing equipment output originates in facilities located in the US, Western Europe and Japan, which together accounted for more than three-quarters of worldwide shipments in 2001. However, the greatest growth in production will be in industrialising parts of the world. Food processing machinery shipments from facilities in China, for example, are expected to surpass those of Japan by 2006.
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