From the Field: In-Market Representative Reports – March 2024

Monthly update from our global network of In-Market Representatives about what's going on in markets around the world.

Food Export – Midwest and Food Export – Northeast have developed a network of 19 uniquely experienced In-Market Representatives around the globe. These local marketing experts in the food industry provide Food Export with on-the-ground assistance to implement our various programs and services.

In addition, through regular trade servicing, these local representatives report on local issues, trends, and opportunities for international buyers to connect with suppliers of U.S. agricultural and food products. Every month we share with you some of the top market insight from the trade servicing reports we receive in order to improve your international export efforts.

From Asia to Europe, market dynamics are evolving, driven by shifting consumer demands, trade policies, and regulatory changes. Let’s delve into the latest developments from China, Costa Rica,  Indonesia, and the United Kingdom, offering insights into the intricate web of economic shifts and consumer behaviors shaping these diverse markets.

China: Trade Policy Dynamics

Changes in China’s trade policy are impacting global markets, with provisional import tax rate reductions, including zero tariffs on select items, that cover 1000+ types of goods from foreign countries since January. This move significantly benefits countries like Argentina, boosting bilateral trade to USD 25.5 billion in 2023 and positioning China as Argentina’s second-largest trading partner and largest agricultural export market. Amidst global protectionism, China’s commitment to reducing tariffs reflects its stance on economic globalization, fostering mutually beneficial trade partnerships and supporting the global economy.

Costa Rica: Consumer Trends in Food Industry

Consumer behaviors in Costa Rica’s food industry are leaning towards private label and discounters as consumers seek affordability and quality. The pandemic-induced shift towards home-centric lifestyles drives increased home meal occasions and digitalization, influencing online shopping and home delivery trends. Health-conscious consumer preferences drive the demand for products with health and nutritional properties, leading to increased consumption of dietary supplements, high-protein, and plant-based products. Regulatory changes in labeling laws and taxes underscore governments’ efforts to promote healthier food choices and influence consumer behavior.

Indonesia: Navigating Shrimp Market Challenges

Indonesia’s shrimp industry faces challenges with a decline in production attributed to plummeting prices. Prices dropped to USD 4.15/kg from pre-pandemic levels of USD 5.11/kg, primarily due to lower demand from the US. This downturn led to delayed stocking, reduced density, and deferred investments, culminating in a 9.5% year-on-year decrease in shrimp production in 2023. To counter these challenges, Shrimp Club Indonesia (SCI) urges the government to explore international and local market opportunities. Eyeing alternative markets in Asia, Africa, and Europe, collaboration and innovation in ready-to-eat (RTE) and ready-to-cook (RTC) shrimp products are essential for tapping into these potential markets.

United Kingdom: Trade Dynamics and Labelling Regulations

Post-Brexit trade dynamics between Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and the Republic of Ireland necessitate changes in labeling regulations. The Windsor Framework replaces the Irish Protocol, streamlining trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, albeit with labeling complexities. The requirement to label goods destined for Northern Ireland as ‘Not for EU’ aims to reduce checks and facilitate trade, reflecting evolving trade dynamics amidst Brexit-induced regulatory shifts.