press releases press releases en <![CDATA[Rabobank Global Poultry Quarterly: Promising Outlook for 2018—Although Avian Influenza Concerns Are Rising]]> The outlook for the global poultry industry in 2018 is promising, with relatively positive fundamentals, according to Rabobank’s Poultry Quarterly Q1 2018 report. But a disciplined supply growth strategy will be needed, especially as uncertainties are rising—such as the possible return of avian influenza (AI) during the northern hemisphere winter and a rising supply of competitive meat proteins like pork and beef.

“The outlook for the global poultry industry for 2018 is promising”, says Nan-Dirk Mulder, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein at Rabobank. “This promising outlook includes ongoing demand growth in most markets, except China, and low(er) feed prices in 1H 2018, if not longer. But a disciplined supply growth strategy will be needed, especially as uncertainties are rising.”

The main concerns for 2018 are a return of AI during the northern hemisphere winter and the increasingly competitive market conditions due to rising red meat supply.

Global prices for chicken have remained strong, especially for whole chicken and breast meat, but dark meat prices have fallen. Competition from red meat will grow next year, amid rising supply and softening prices.

Global poultry trade will again be hit by volatility, driven by AI, exchange rate volatility, and changes in traders’ procurement strategies in response to earlier scandals in trade. New suppliers will continue to enter the market. Given these growing, but uncertain and more competitive market conditions, supply discipline will be important.

China’s industry is struggling, with winter rapidly approaching and many wet markets yet to be closed. This situation could negatively affect prices and global trade. The industry needs to further reduce supply in order to rebalance supply and demand.

The Brazilian industry is recovering from the ‘weak flesh’ meat scandal, and exports have returned to 2016 levels after significant drops in Q2 and Q3. However, the risk of Brazilian imports being substituted by new suppliers remains.

The EU poultry industry is performing relatively well. This is based on a favourable supply/demand balance in the European market (given restricted production growth in the aftermath of AI earlier in 2017), along with constrained growth in north-western Europe due to environmental regulations, which restrict expansion. Eastern Europe—especially Poland—will keep growing fast, becoming a major trade hub.

Currently, the fastest-growing global regions are South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. South (-East) Asia will remain very bullish in the next year, with ongoing growth of more than 5% in most countries like Indonesia, India, the Philippines, and Thailand, driven by strong local demand and Thailand’s clear leadership when it comes to global trade. However, recent expansion of the industry, at 7%, has probably occurred a bit too fast, when taking the current margin pressure into account.

The US poultry industry is expected to keep performing well, driven by ongoing strong local market conditions and improved exports, combined with a predicted record-high US corn and soybean harvest. This will likely push feed prices down.

Press release Thu, 14 Dec 2017 08:49:03 GMT 249782
<![CDATA[Blockchain Offers Transparency And Opportunities Throughout The Food Value Chain]]> Companies that want to remain successful in the future food value chain should start to explore options for participating in blockchain initiatives in order to help them lower costs, increase efficiencies, offer sustainable products and explore opportunities for creating new value, which are also of benefit to the consumer, according to the latest RaboResearch report ‘Blockchain: The Trigger for Disruption in the Food Value Chain’.

Once implemented, the blockchain can be used to reduce costs and/or increase the value of end products or raw materials by using the information that accompanies products. There are opportunities for increasing the added value of raw materials—for example, by meeting specific wishes of consumers related to production method (e.g. fair trade), origin, and other physical and ‘virtual’ quality attributes.

“One advantage would, for example, be when tackling food safety issues”, according to Harry Smit, Senior Analyst – Farming and Farm Inputs. “Product recalls can be much easier when the entire chain is transparent.” Transparency of the food chain also means that the benefits of reputation that market leaders have will decline. Trust in a product will become less dependent on the trust in the supplier, but more dependent on the information available in the blockchain. This enables smaller companies to establish premiums based on the intrinsic characteristics of the goods they supply, without necessarily having a longstanding reputation.

The available data also creates opportunities for developing products and services based on intelligence. For example, data can be used in predictive models to predict demand and/or success of a product by making use of new insights about correlations and causalities. As a result, business models can change from responsive to risk-based and predictive.

Rabobank Blockchain

Key to reaping any of the benefits is a digitalisation of internal and external processes. “There are definitely benefits”, according to Harry Smit. “But two prerequisites have to be met in order for blockchain to become successful. First, processes within companies, and between companies, have to become digitalised and standardised. Second, a broad participation of stakeholders along the value chain is required; otherwise the value of blockchain is lost.”

Press release Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:09:19 GMT 249574
<![CDATA[$1 billion to catalyze sustainable food production]]> One month ago Rabobank and UN Environment announced a one billion dollar facility. This initiative spurred many positive reactions, including concrete proposals for the facility to boost.

These reactions underline that there are so many meaningful projects and businesses on the ground. It offers a tremendous incentive to pursue our Growing a better world together initiative. Although the facility’s scope will in due course be global, it starts in Brazil and Indonesia.

The facility aims to finance sustainable land use and help achieve the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. It provides grants, de-risking instruments and credit to clients involved in sustainable agricultural production, processing or agricultural commodity trade who adhere to strict provisions for forest protection, restoration and the involvement of smallholders.

As mentioned above the facility’s scope will in due course be global, it starts in Brazil aiming to upscale Integrated Crop, Livestock, Forestry (ICLF) best practices as part of the strategic WWF Rabobank partnership stimulating reforestation as well as Climate Smart Agriculture. In Indonesia it aims to finance replanting schemes for oil palm smallholders in partnership with corporate clients. We are currently working to flesh out the operational details of the facility. At the World Economic Forum in January 2018, progress and operational details will be shared.

The launch of this facility is one of the first steps of Rabobank’s Kickstart Food global activation program to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food supply. Kickstart Food was announced at the 2017 United Nations World Food Day. It is designed to be an open platform for others to join. Clients and stakeholders from across the entire food and agricultural sector are invited to work together with us.

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Press release Fri, 01 Dec 2017 18:11:41 GMT 249505
<![CDATA[Glanbia MilkFlex Fund Wins European Award for Co-operative Innovation ]]> The Glanbia MilkFlex Fund received a major Award at the 2017 European Awards for Co-operative Innovation, presented by COGECA, the association of European agri co-operatives, in Brussels this week. Rabobank, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Finance Ireland and Glanbia Co-Operative Society are co-investors in the Fund.

The COGECA Business Model Innovation Award was presented to Glanbia for introducing the Glanbia MilkFlex Fund which offers flexible, competitively priced loans to Glanbia milk suppliers with loan repayments which vary according to seasonality and movements in milk price.
The purpose of the Glanbia MilkFlex Fund is to provide Glanbia milk suppliers in the Republic of Ireland with an innovative funding product to support investment in on-farm productive assets (including livestock, milking platform infrastructure and land improvement).
Commenting on the Award, Henry Corbally, Chairman of Glanbia said: “We are delighted to receive this Award and with the overall positive response to the Glanbia MilkFlex Fund since it was launched. The purpose of the Fund is to provide our milk suppliers with innovative funding that helps protect farm incomes from the impact of dairy market volatility. Since its launch in March 2016, the Fund has encouraged renewed debate on the development of innovative funding products for farmers which is positive for the overall sector and to be welcomed.”
Since its arrival on the market in May 2016, the Fund has received almost €90 million in loan applications. The average value of MilkFlex loans drawn from the Fund is €100,000 to date.
A key feature of this innovative loan product is that it has inbuilt ‘flex triggers’ that adjust the repayment terms in line with movements in Glanbia Ireland’s (GI) manufacturing milk price and seasonality, thereby providing farmers with cash flow relief when most needed. 
Rabobank, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Finance Ireland and Glanbia Co-Operative Society are co-investors in the Fund while Finance Ireland originate the loans and manage all aspects of the Fund. The interest rate charged on the loans is a variable rate of 3.75% above the monthly Euribor cost of funds (with a Euribor floor of zero). 
Receiving the Award, Sean Molloy, Director of Strategy & Supply Development at Glanbia Ireland said: “We are very pleased to receive this award and wish to highlight the support of our partners - the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Rabobank and Finance Ireland - in bringing the Glanbia MilkFlex Fund to market.  It is a valuable tool in assisting dairy farmers to manage income volatility, which is particularly challenging for family farms everywhere.”
Commenting on the awards, Cogeca President Thomas Magnusson said “These Awards aim to promote practices and innovative solutions designed by co-operatives. Since 2009, Cogeca - the voice of European agri co-operatives - recognizes and celebrates the outstanding innovation practices of European agri co-operatives. I am very pleased with the quality of the projects submitted this year. Agri co-operatives make sure that innovative solutions are workable at farm level as they take into consideration all aspects of the project from the technical, social, environmental and economic aspects of it.”
Press release Fri, 01 Dec 2017 13:27:39 GMT 249543
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Animal Protein Outlook 2018: Production Growth Continues, Bringing Increased Competition]]> Animal protein production is expanding around the world, and increasing competition —between the species for share of consumer wallet and between exporters for access to import destinations— is creating many areas of opportunity for both producers and processors, according to RaboResearch’s Animal Protein Outlook for 2018.

“Rabobank expects animal protein production to increase in all regions, with total production growth once again surpassing the ten-year average,” says Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist – Animal Protein at Rabobank. “This strong production increase is mainly being driven by Brazil, China, and the US.”

Looking at production across species, beef joins pork as a strong contributor to global expansion. In 2018, global beef production is expected to expand for a third consecutive year, and global pork production is expected to see another year of significant expansion. Poultry production is also expected to grow, but will be down slightly on 2017.

In seafood, aquaculture continues to drive seafood supply growth. Sustainable growth in the seafood industry solely depends on aquaculture, although we expect the wild catch industry to recover after El Niño recedes in 2017. Zooming in, the salmon market is recovering, fishmeal prices will stabilize, and the shrimp industry is likely to continue growing.

“The Rabobank trade scorecard for 2018 shows that many countries are looking to increase exports, and this will be a major part of the increased competition we expect in 2018”, according to Mr. Sherrard. While specific trade outcomes will also reflect growing demand, access issues and policy decisions, Rabobank expects trade to represent an important area of both opportunity and uncertainty over the coming year. Uncertainty in 2018 will come from the heavy overlay of politics in trade policy—such as the NAFTA negotiation, Brexit and the US – China trade relationship—which is not new but does seem to have become more common, and from biosecurity issues—such as Avian Influenza, African Swine Fever and EHP (a fungal infection in shrimp)—which again appear susceptible to political involvement. “Trade should be the top-of-mind issue for global animal protein as we head into a new year, and enhancing competitiveness is going to be critical for success.”


Consolidation, evolving retail landscape, alternative proteins, innovation

Looking beyond markets and trade, Rabobank sees four other issues that will dominate the headlines for animal protein in 2018: increasing although uneven industry consolidation, the evolving retail landscape, alternative proteins, and technology. In food retail, the evolving landscape is one of more channels, more product options, and more velocity for instance due to blurring retail channels. This will bring new areas of opportunity, such as online fresh food sales in China, and generally bring opportunities to strong and agile animal protein supply chains. Alternative proteins will grow further from their small base and continue to capture consumer interest in innovative food. At the same time, the animal protein production chain, and especially aquaculture, will focus on alternative proteins as an innovative feed ingredient. When it comes to innovation, technology—and in particular data-driven technology—is starting to deliver value along the animal supply chain for instance by increased supply chain (cost) management. Two important drivers behind the increase of technology are reducing the environmental footprint and addressing social concerns.

Regional outlooks
  • North America: Production continues to grow. Ongoing production expansion across the species increases the dependence on trade, yet access to trade markets will be an area of uncertainty during 2018
  • Brazil: Production will increase in 2018. Brazil & Argentina are set to increase beef production by 5% and 4%, respectively, with Brazil also expanding poultry and pork production.
  • EU: Exports are key in a challenging market. Access to export markets is increasingly important for processors, as production rises, while social issues remain top of mind for domestic consumers.
  • China: Pork supply will increase, poultry will stay flat. China’s pork market is entering a down cycle, with imports set to rise as structural adjustment continues. Overall poultry supply will be flat, with white bird supply declining and other species rising. Beef supply will grow steadily, with imports being the main driving force.
  • South-East Asia: Production growth will decelerate. Poultry production is tapering off in response to oversupply. Beef demand will continue to be met by imports, with price being the main focus in trade decision making.
  • Australia & New Zealand: Beef and lamb production will remain steady. Improved seasonal conditions support Australian producer demand for cattle amid softer export markets, while in New Zealand, beef exporters are reliant on continued demand growth in export markets.
Press release Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:05:11 GMT 249422
<![CDATA[Rabobank data in EBA publication]]> Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. notes the announcements made today by the European Banking Authority and European Central Bank regarding the information of the 2017 EU-wide Transparency Exercise and fulfilment of the EBA Board of Supervisors’ decision.

Background 2017 EU-wide Transparency Exercise
At its meeting in May 2017, the EBA Board of Supervisors approved the package for the 2017 EU-wide Transparency Exercise, which since 2016 is performed on an annual basis and published along with the Risk Assessment Report (RAR). The annual transparency exercise will be based solely on COREP/FINREP data on the form and scope to assure a sufficient and appropriate level of information to market participants.
The templates were centrally filled in by the EBA and sent afterwards for verification by banks and supervisors. Banks had the chance to correct any errors detected and to resubmit correct data through the regular supervisory reporting channels. 
Press release Fri, 24 Nov 2017 18:05:00 GMT 249375
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Weather event among threats to global food price stability in 2018]]> Weather phenomena, trade headwinds and currency fluctuations could disrupt the global food price environment during 2018, according to research from Rabobank, the specialist food and agribusiness bank.

  • La Niña weather phenomenon could disrupt crops across key regions and cause food prices to spike
  • Producers also face trade risks from increasing freight and input costs along with fluctuating currencies
  • Strong demand expected for coffee and cocoa; bullish outlook on wheat with rising consumption eating into stocks after US acreage record lows 
There is currently as much as a 75% chance of La Niña conditions strengthening and lasting the northern hemisphere winter, according to the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The phenomenon could bring extreme heat and dryness to grain areas in the Americas and flooding to Asia’s palm oil plantations.
In its annual Outlook report, Good Buy, Low Prices, which analyses prospects for 13 agricultural commodities, Rabobank says that while global stocks are historically well-supplied, balance sheets are tightening, exacerbating the potential impact of shocks.
Alongside weather, other factors pose a risk to the stability of global food prices, according to Rabobank.
Trade is set to continue to play a key role in price volatility. Global freight costs – in the form of the Baltic Dry Index – and oil prices are both rising and there remains uncertainty over US policy towards NAFTA and the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU and other nations.
In currencies, the prospect of further interest rate increases in the US raises the chances of the dollar appreciating, making American exports of key commodities such as wheat and soybeans less competitive.
Stefan Vogel, head of agri commodity markets at Rabobank and report co-author, said: “Historically speaking, the global stocks of grains and oilseeds are high, which is currently keeping the pricing environment relatively benign. But there are clouds of uncertainty on the horizon and supplies are not enough to sustain prices should a major event like La Niña disrupt major agricultural areas, such as the US and South America.
“This has the potential to cause a supply shock that would ripple through to food prices, while the rising cost of global trade and potential currency fluctuations also create upside risks. Our view is these outweigh the downside risks in 2018. 
“Producers must therefore guard against complacency after years of relative stability and plan ahead to manage these risks proactively and appropriately.”
Among individual commodities, Rabobank expects global demand for coffee to continue to grow, leading to a slightly bullish view on 2018 prices despite a potential 3m-bag surplus in 2018/19. Demand for cocoa also continues to rise, driven by developing nations’ taste for luxury commodities, though large global stocks mean price spikes are unlikely.
The outlook for wheat is bullish relative to today’s prices due to an expected 7.5m-tonne global deficit (excluding China), driving a trend towards rebalancing after record-low planted acres in the US this year. 
Stefan Vogel added: “As ever, various factors are at play when looking at prospects for next year, but in the case of coffee and cocoa, prices are supported by rising demand for these luxury commodities, particularly from emerging markets.
“Nevertheless, the picture is mixed elsewhere, with demand for wheat tempered by large supplies and record stocks, while palm oil producers are challenged by the need to reclaim market share from other oils given adverse weather has hit yields since 2015/16.”
The annual Outlook report, now in its eighth year, is produced by Rabobank’s specialist team of agricultural commodity markets researchers based around the world.
Rabobank ACMR2018_bull_bear_slider_condensed
Press release Tue, 21 Nov 2017 08:50:20 GMT 249251
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Affordability gap continues to widen between owner-occupied sector and private rental sector]]> On the Dutch housing market the affordability between owner-occupied homes and homes in the private rental sector continues to grow further apart. This is affecting renters in the private segment twice over. Not only are they paying high rents and therefore have little to save, but because they cannot save much they find it increasingly difficult to get on the property ladder as house prices keep rising. The result is that they are more likely to keep living in a house that is no longer suited to their situation. And it would appear that the new government's housing market policy will bring about little change here. These are the views of economists at Rabobank in their Dutch Housing Market Quarterly which is published today.

The third quarter of this year saw yet another record broken on the Dutch housing market. Rabobank economist Christian Lennartz explains: 'It was rather a crazy quarter. Never have so many houses been sold as in the three summer months; well over 61,000. But we are seeing a divergence between the Randstad and the rest of the country; in Zuid-Holland the number of sales flatlined, while in the provinces of Utrecht and Noord-Holland transactions even fell quite significantly. This trend may be signalling a turnaround.'
The Rabobank economists expect that around 240,000 houses will be sold this year and that this number will fall next year to around 225,000 transactions. Lennartz: 'During the last quarter not only the share, but also the actual number of young home buyers fell, while the number of investors buying a second or third house, or even more, is rising. Unlike first-time buyers, they have more financial elbow room and so hold the best cards when making an offer on a house.'

House prices to rise by 7% in 2018
Since demand for owner-occupied homes is not falling appreciably, prices will continue to rise strongly in the coming year. Lennartz expects a price rise of 7% in 2018. 'As already said, there is a wide gulf between the affordability of owner-occupied homes and rented homes, especially those in the private rental sector. Housing costs in the owner-occupied housing sector make up on average 30% of disposable household income, whereas in the private rental sector this is more than 40%. Confidence is also strong in the owner-occupied housing market and interest rates will stay low for the time being. This is keeping demand for owner-occupied homes high as long as not enough (rental) homes are being built.”
The situation on the Dutch housing market will not change significantly in the short-term, the Rabobank economist believes. 'We don't expect the new government's proposed housing policy to have a major impact on the price of owner-occupied homes. The widening gulf in affordability between homes to buy and homes to rent in the private sector will therefore not be reversed soon. This means that, despite the restrictions on mortgage interest relief, market conditions will continue to favour those owning their own home.'
The Dutch Housing Market Quarterly can be found at:
Press release Wed, 15 Nov 2017 07:28:48 GMT 249132
<![CDATA[Rabobank transfers risk on part of its commercial credit portfolio]]> Rabobank has transferred part of the risk on its commercial credit portfolio involving loans to business customers in Europe and North America amounting to EUR 3 billion. Rabobank’s total private credit portfolio amounts to EUR 418 billion (at 30 June 2017).

Bas Brouwers, Rabobank CFO: ‘This transaction is part of Rabobank’s strategy of further optimising its balance sheet. It means that Rabobank’s risk-weighted assets are reduced by EUR 1 billion. We will use the capital released by this transaction to grant new loans to customers. The transaction with Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) shows that there are increasing opportunities for Dutch pension funds to participate in the funding of business.’ Rabobank and PFZW closed this transaction in the 3rd quarter of this year and closed a similar transaction in January 2014 which involved a portfolio of EUR 3.2 billion.

Press release Thu, 02 Nov 2017 07:19:32 GMT 248829
<![CDATA[Brede welvaart blijft achter ondanks economische groei]]> De economische groei uit zich nog steeds niet in een gelijkwaardige stijging van brede welvaart voor Nederlandse huishoudens. Terwijl het bruto binnenlands product (BBP) per hoofd in 2016 al terug was op het niveau van voor de crisis, geldt dit niet voor brede welvaart. Ook bestaan er binnen Nederland grote verschillen in brede welvaart tussen regio’s. Dit blijkt uit de vandaag gepresenteerde Brede Welvaartsindicator (BWI) 2017 van de Universiteit Utrecht en Rabobank. Deze indicator is een integrale graadmeter die sinds 2016 inzicht geeft over de ontwikkeling van brede welvaart in Nederland.

Anders dan het BBP per hoofd, meet en weegt de BWI niet alleen de economische situatie, maar ook andere factoren die het welzijn van Nederlanders bepalen zoals werkloosheid, baanzekerheid, onderwijs, gezondheid, milieu, huisvesting, veiligheid en geluk. Extra bijzonder dit jaar is dat de BWI voor het eerst de verschillen tussen de Nederlandse regio’s laat zien. Hier valt op dat er grote verscheidenheid is. Zo blijkt onder andere dat brede welvaart in stedelijke gebieden lager ligt dan in landelijke gebieden.

tabel 1 

Figuur 1: Ander verloop brede welvaart en economische groei

Integraal inzicht over brede welvaart
Tot nu toe wordt het concept bbp per hoofd vaak gebruikt om de welvaart van mensen te meten. Maar het bbp per hoofd geeft een eenzijdig beeld omdat welvaart zich niet alleen laat uitdrukken in de financiële situatie van Nederlanders. Vaak groeit volgens het bbp de economie in ons land, maar zien we die groei niet terug in de welvaart van huishoudens. Zo blijkt ook uit de BWI 2017: brede welvaart en economische groei hebben in Nederland duidelijk een heel ander verloop (figuur 1). Opvallend is dat terwijl het bbp per hoofd in 2016 al terug was op het niveau van voor de crisis, dit nog niet geldt voor de BWI. Brede welvaart is met andere woorden nog niet hersteld van de crisis. 

“Het steeds verder uiteenlopen van economische groei en brede welvaart geeft duidelijk aan dat het bbp per hoofd niet per definitie iets zegt over de ontwikkeling van brede welvaart. We hopen dat beleidsmakers in Nederland dit ter harte nemen en beslissingen zullen nemen op basis van een totaalbeeld’’, aldus Bas van Bavel, hoogleraar Transities van Economie en Samenleving van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Ontwikkeling BWI 2017
De BWI meet (voor de periode 2003- 2016) 11 dimensies die de brede welvaart van Nederlanders indexeert. Als we kijken naar de ontwikkeling van de dimensies in de afgelopen dertien jaar blijken de verschillende dimensies zich heel anders te hebben ontwikkeld. De dimensies arbeid en wonen zijn sterk gedaald, door de gestegen werkloosheid, de toegenomen flexibilisering en de lagere woontevredenheid. De dimensies gezondheid, veiligheid en milieu zijn juist sterk toegenomen. De levensverwachting is toegenomen, de gewelddadige misdaad is gedaald en de fijnstofuitstoot is sterk verminderd. 

Regionaal inzicht
Door decentralisatie van overheidstaken naar gemeenten in 2015 worden ingrijpende beslissingen steeds meer regionaal genomen. Het Regeerakkoord 2017- 2021 met haar geografische spreiding van investeringen onderstreept dit nog eens. De Brede Welvaartsindicator laat dit jaar voor het eerst de verschillen tussen de Nederlandse regio’s zien. Hierdoor vormt de BWI een prima startpunt voor beleidsmakers om regionale knelpunten aan te pakken.

tabel 2

Figuur 2: Grote regionale verschillen in brede welvaart in Nederland

Lagere brede welvaart in stedelijke dan in landelijke gebieden
De regionale verschillen in brede welvaart in Nederland zijn groot (figuur 2). “Wat opvalt is dat een hogere stedelijkheid over het algemeen samengaat met een lagere brede welvaart. De drie grootste steden Amsterdam, Rotterdam en Den Haag hebben zelfs de laagste brede welvaart van Nederland”, aldus Martijn Badir, econoom bij Rabobank.  De lagere brede welvaart in de grote stad wordt vooral veroorzaakt door een lage woontevredenheid en de grotere onveiligheid. De meer landelijke regio’s doen het over het algemeen een stuk beter. De gebieden met de hoogste brede welvaart zijn Noord- en Zuidwest-Drenthe en het Gooi.

Over het onderzoek:
De Brede Welvaartsindicator 2017 is een initiatief van onderzoeksthema Instituties voor Open Samenlevingen van de Universiteit Utrecht in samenwerking met de afdeling RaboResearch van Rabobank. De cumulatieve ontwikkelingen van de regionale Brede Welvaartsindicator meet en weegt 11 dimensies in de periode 2003- 2016 die het (economische) welzijn van Nederlanders indexeert. Deze dimensies zijn: veiligheid, milieu, gezondheid, subjectief welzijn, balans tussen werk en privé, wonen, onderwijs, materiele welvaart, maatschappelijke betrokkenheid, sociale relaties en banen.

Het rapport met bijhorende infographic en video is beschikbaar via:
De resultaten zijn per regio uitgesplitst.     
Press release Fri, 27 Oct 2017 09:31:24 GMT 248687
<![CDATA[Pork Quarterly Q4 2017: Steady Growth in Production Brings Trade into Sharper Focus]]> Looking into Q4 2017, global pork supply is expected to increase further, mainly driven by China, the US, Canada, and Brazil. While China’s pork imports have slowed down recently, they are likely to pick up again later this year, according to RaboResearch’s latest global Pork Quarterly.

“The most significant story in global pork markets has been the substantial decline in China’s imports in recent months, which creates a risk of over-supplied global markets,” says Chenjun Pan, RaboResearch Senior Analyst – Animal Protein. “However, we do expect China’s imports to pick up somewhat over the rest of the year.” While the Rabobank Five-Nation Hog Price Index suggests a stronger pricing trend, the major importing countries will likely maintain steady import growth.

China’s pork farming structure has been impacted by stricter environmental policy enforcement. Despite the exit of many small farms, we maintain our forecast for 2017, with production increasing by 2%. Prices will continue the downward trend, after holding at strong levels in summer. Pork imports were down by 27% in the first eight months, but may rebound over Q4 2017.

China’s import demand has been one area of distortion in global pork markets over the past one to two years, and a diversion in prices for certain cuts has been another. “Pork bellies have reached record levels in the US and some other markets, driven by strong demand, especially from foodservice,” says Justin Sherrard, RaboResearch Global Strategist – Animal Protein.

Other highlights from the Pork Quarterly Q4 2017 include:

While high prices in 1H 2017 contributed to declining exports as they reduced the EU’s competitiveness in trade flows, they also triggered an expansion in the sow herd. The slight dip in production in 2017 is likely to reverse in 2018. The EU will seek export opportunities for additional production.

US pork production will continue to expand over the remainder of the year. Prices are expected to soften under supply pressure. Strong currencies will put extra pressure on the export business (see Figure 2). With weaker demand from China offset by stronger demand from Mexico, we still expect total exports for 2017 to be higher than in 2016.

Brazilian pork exports increased around 18% by value in the first nine months of the year. By volume, they declined around 4%, particularly due to the slowdown in Chinese pork imports. Given favourable feed costs, we expect Brazilian production to continue rising in Q4 2017.

Press release Thu, 26 Oct 2017 10:03:29 GMT 248664
<![CDATA[Rabobank sells part of mortgage portfolio to La Banque Postale S.A.]]> Rabobank has sold a share of its mortgage portfolio worth around EUR 600 million to La Banque Postale. Rabobank will retain the full servicer responsibility towards its clients.

The underlying mortgage portfolio of around EUR 600 million corresponds to 3,600 loans orginated by Rabobank that all have the benefit of a NHG guarantee, which is backed by stichting Waarborgfonds Eigen Woningen (WEW).
Servicer role
In line with previous transactions, this sale has no consequences for the servicing relationship. Clients will keep their contacts with Rabobank: the mortgage contract and conditions which were agreed between Rabobank and the customer remain unchanged. 
Freeing up capital and funding
Rabobank is a leading mortgage provider in the Netherlands with a total mortgage portfolio amounting EUR 194.5 billion (including Obvion). This transaction – representing 0.26 per cent of the bank’s total portfolio - enables Rabobank to free up locked capital and funding on its balance sheet, which can be relocated to grant new mortgages and loans to clients. As such, this transaction helps Rabobank to further implement its balance sheet optimizing strategy, while underlining Rabobanks ongoing commitment to its clients.
Press release Tue, 24 Oct 2017 17:42:16 GMT 248611
<![CDATA[Eerste Eneco ZonneHub van start bij Rabobank ]]> De eerste ZonneHub van Nederland is maandaag in bedrijf genomen. Door een samenwerking tussen Eneco en Rabobank West-Brabant Noord wekken omwonenden zonder geschikt dak toch hun eigen zonnestroom op. Op het dak van het Rabobankkantoor in Etten-Leur liggen nu 170 panelen.

Er is steeds meer behoefte bij mensen om ‘zelfvoorzienend’ te worden in hun energieverbruik. Hierdoor ontstaan meer initiatieven om samen op lokaal niveau groene energie op te wekken. Een collectief zonnedak, zoals de Eneco ZonneHub™, maakt het gebruik en de opwek van duurzame energie eenvoudig en toegankelijk voor veel mensen, ook wanneer zij zelf geen zonnepanelen op hun dak kunnen of willen leggen.
De Eneco ZonneHub™ vergde veel inzet en doorzettingsvermogen van Eneco, Rabobank en de eerste deelnemers. Het was pionieren door een woud van complexe processen en regelgeving zoals de ‘postcoderoosregeling’ waar ZonneHub gebruik van maakt. Er is veel geleerd. Van het vestigen van het recht van opstal tot een beschikkingsaanvraag bij de Belastingdienst, van een specifieke aansluiting bij de netbeheerder tot het oprichten van de coöperatie waarin de deelnemers verenigd zijn. Al deze opgedane kennis en ervaring kan voor toekomstige collectieve zonnedaken worden ingezet om processen eenvoudiger en sneller te maken. 
Ger de Weert, directeur Rabobank West-Brabant Noord: ‘De regio West-Brabant wil in 2050 energie-neutraal zijn. Dat betekent dat we zullen moeten besparen op energie en duurzaam energie moeten opwekken. Met ondernemers, onderwijs, inwoners en de overheid pakken we de handschoen op. Deze ZonneHub is eigenlijk een prachtig voorbeeld van hoe we nu al op zo’n manier kunnen samenwerken.’
Lokaal op grote schaal
Volgens Stichting Natuur & Milieu zijn in Nederland genoeg geschikte daken om nog 145 miljoen zonnepanelen te kunnen plaatsen. Als deze daken benut worden, kan Nederland tot wel 40% van haar elektriciteit uit de zon halen. 
Marloes Arkesteijn, projectleider ZonneHub bij Eneco: ‘We zijn erg blij dat de eerste ZonneHub een feit is. Het proces is nu een keer volledig doorlopen en daardoor kunnen we onze ervaring nu inzetten om het voor steeds meer consumenten mogelijk maken hun eigen zonnestroom op te wekken. Als je bedenkt dat de meerderheid van de Nederlanders geen geschikt dak heeft, ligt hier een prachtige kans om vraag en aanbod samen te brengen. Want het kan en moet duurzamer.”
Press release Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:56:34 GMT 248658
<![CDATA[Digital Trade Chain Consortium launches]]> Since January 2017, Rabobank , six other banks (Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Societé Generale and UniCredit) and IBM are developing the Digital Trade Chain platform. This ground-breaking shared platform aims at making domestic and cross-border commerce easier for European companies by harnessing the power of distributed ledger technology. Because of the expansion and the further internationalization of the platform, the consortium decided to rebrand the Digital Trade Chain platform in a more appealing, strong brand name

Recently, Banco Santander  has joined the consortium as a founding partner. The eight founding banks also intend to establish a Joint Venture company (JV) before end of 2017 that will own, manage and distribute the Digital Trade Chain platform. The intention is to incorporate the new legal entity in the Republic of Ireland.
The enlarged consortium will continue to develop as a platform that can seamlessly connect the parties involved in a trade transaction i.e. the buyer, buyer’s bank, seller, seller’s bank and transporter. The platform will be accessible from any connected device.
This new product will simplify trade finance processes for companies by addressing the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions. Companies can easily and efficiently trade with more trust. 
The commercialization of the platform is expected in Q2 2018. As from February 2018 test clients of the  founding banks will already use the platform. 
Press release Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:40:43 GMT 248508
<![CDATA[EC appoints Wiebe Draijer to platform to follow up on the UN Sustainable Development Goals]]> Chairman Wiebe Draijer of Rabobank has been appointed to a new high-level multi-stakeholder platform to follow up on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the EU. He is one of 30 experts in the platform which will support and advise the European Commission on delivering the Development Goals at EU level. The platform will provide a forum for exchange of best practice at local, regional, national and EU level.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "To build a sustainable future for Europe we need to work from the grassroots up, and use the knowledge and skills of a wide range of stakeholders. I am looking forward to working closely together with the experts in this Platform to develop the vision and the tools we need to succeed in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals."
The platform consists of representatives of European trade unions, environmental and consumer organizations, universities and farmers.
Press release Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:20:36 GMT 248457
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Hard Brexit to cost UK economy £400bn by 2030]]> Leaving the EU without a trade agreement would cost the UK economy £400bn by 2030, according to new research from leading food and agribusiness bank, Rabobank.

  • Leaving EU without a trade agreement could cost up to 18 per cent of UK GDP growth until 2030, compared to retaining EU membership

  • Economic growth in the euro area to drop by 2 per cent by 2024 due to Brexit

  • First study that integrally assesses the impact of Brexit on productivity, based on a UK-specific productivity model

The study uses macro-econometric modelling to assess the effects of the UK leaving the European Union in three possible scenarios –a hard Brexit where negotiations between the EU and UK do not lead to a trade agreement,– a free trade agreement (FTA), like that of Switzerland, and a soft Brexit where the UK remains part of the European internal market but exits the customs union. All three scenarios are benchmarked against a situation where the UK would continue to be a member of the EU (‘Bremain’). The study includes new elements compared to other studies and finds much larger effects.*
A hard Brexit would cost the UK 18 per cent of GDP growth by 2030, compared to a situation where the UK would retain its EU membership. This equates to £11,500 per British worker. By comparison, negotiating a new free-trade agreement would cost the UK 12.5 per cent of GDP growth by 2030, and 10 per cent of GDP growth if the country was to undergo a soft Brexit. This equates to £9,500 and £7,500 per British worker respectively.

For countries in the euro area, a UK departure from the European Union – however severe – would result in a cumulative impact on EU GDP of – 2 per cent by 2024. The economic impact on the Netherlands, which was looked into specifically by the Netherlands-based research team, will be higher than on most other EU member states because it has a much closer trade relation with the UK, accruing losses of around €25bn and €35bn.

Immediate impacts of Brexit
According to the Rabobank study, a hard Brexit outcome implemented in 2019 without a transition period would result in the UK economy immediately falling into a two-year recession period. For the FTA and the soft Brexit scenario there will also be a recession, but milder and much more short-lived.
If negotiations in Brussels result in a hard Brexit, UK GDP is expected to decline by -2.4 per cent following its departure in 2019. However, if the UK and EU were to agree on a freetrade agreement, a GDP decline of -1.1% would be expected, and a -0.3 per cent decline in a soft Brexit scenario.

Fluctuating trade activity
With the EU being the UK’s single most important trading partner, any ‘Brexit’ scenario would result in a slowdown of trade due to higher tariffs and custom controls. In the event of a hard Brexit, export volumes are estimated to be approximately 30 per cent lower than if the UK remained in the European Union, 15 per cent lower in a free trade agreement scenario and 10 per cent lower if the UK negotiates a soft Brexit.
Import volumes would also be impacted, with a hard Brexit resulting in a 27 per cent decline in goods and services coming into the UK. The effect would be 23 per cent in the event of a free trade agreement and 16 per cent in a soft Brexit scenario.

Impact on the labour market
The research shows an initial rise in unemployment figures, with a hard Brexit causing a jump from 4.6 per cent in 2018 to 6.2 per cent in 2020, but quickly returning to long term structural unemployment levels. In a Bremain scenario, Rabobank would anticipate unemployment to be stable, hovering at just above 4 per cent. In any Brexit scenario, long-term damage to the UK’s labour market is expected to be limited due to the dynamic nature of the UK labour market, with the research showing no indication that an exit from the European Union in any form will result in higher structural unemployment levels.
However, the research shows that labour-augmented technological change is anticipated to stall in any Brexit scenario, which implies that technology advances will affect fewer jobs compared to if the UK remains in the European Union.

Hugo Erken, senior economist at Rabobank, said: “There has been extensive economic research into the immediate effects of Brexit, but they have largely focused on trade and investment, whereas implications of the different factors that affect productivity is only marginally or partially addressed.” “By looking at dynamics such as innovation, competition, knowledge and human capital, how they will change and what affects this will have on the structural makeup of the UK and European economy, our research shows that the long-lasting impact of Brexit is likely to be more severe than initially anticipated.”
*Rabobank’s study uses an improved tariff version of the macro-econometric model NiGEM developed by NIESR, which does incorporate the negative impact of cost-push inflation on consumption resulting from imposed trade barriers between the UK and EU. They also estimate a unique total factor productivity model (TFP) for the UK, which assesses the specific impact on productivity caused by Brexit through determinants like innovation, competition, foreign knowledge and human capital.

Press release Thu, 12 Oct 2017 07:58:14 GMT 248387
<![CDATA[Rabo Bankieren App beter toegankelijk voor blinden en slechtzienden]]> Rabobank heeft de ondersteuning voor het gebruik van de Rabo Bankieren app met Voice Over (iOS) en Talkback (Android) verbeterd. De app is daarmee beter geschikt voor klanten met een visuele beperking. Als ook de laatste verbeteringen die nu gerealiseerd worden goed bevonden worden tijdens de gebruikerstest, gaat de bank klanten uitnodigen voortaan de nieuwste app te gebruiken.

De Rabo Bankieren App was bij de introductie in 2015 nog niet optimaal geschikt voor mensen met een visuele beperking. Zij konden daarom tijdelijk gebruik blijven maken van de oude app. Rabobank streeft ernaar dat al haar klanten zo zelfstandig mogelijk hun financiële zaken kunnen regelen. Dat geldt dus ook voor klanten met een visuele beperking. De benodigde aanpassingen lieten echter langer op zich lieten wachten dan beoogd, waardoor sommige klanten in de problemen kwamen als ze bijvoorbeeld een nieuwe telefoon kochten. Ze konden  daarop alleen de nieuwe app installeren, die nog niet goed werkte met de Voice Over en Talkback functie.
Het College voor de Rechten van de Mens stelde onlangs een klant in het gelijk die zich beklaagde over de ontoegankelijkheid van de nieuwe app. Het College heeft geoordeeld dat de bank door deze situatie verboden onderscheid heeft gemaakt op grond van handicap of chronische ziekte. De bank betreurt de situatie en heeft haar ontwikkelproces inmiddels verbeterd.
Rabobank introduceert binnenkort de nieuwe internetbankieren omgeving onder de naam Rabo Online Bankieren. Deze zal direct goed toegankelijk zijn voor klanten met een visuele beperking. Het wordt met Online Bankieren ook mogelijk om in te loggen en te betalen zonder de Rabo Scanner of Random Reader Comfort, waardoor internetbankieren voor klanten met een visuele beperking eenvoudiger wordt.
Press release Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:21:16 GMT 248285
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Dairy Quarterly Q3 2017: The Export Engine Warms Up]]> Global markets remain well balanced, and as a result global prices have exhibited a period of relative stability in the past quarter. However, higher farmgate milk prices have been the major catalyst for a supply-side response, and the export engine is again producing more milk, according the latest RaboResearch Dairy Quarterly report.

“Global dairy markets remained buoyant into Q3 2017, be it with an ongoing theme of a record price spread between dairy fat and protein,” according to Michael Harvey, RaboResearch Senior Analyst – Dairy. “The outlook for commodity markets is for a balanced market to continue. Milk production across the export regions is revving up, and the pace will accelerate in the coming months, largely led by the imminent Oceania spring flush.” However, sustained buying from China should prevent the market from being overwhelmed in the closing months of 2017.

Regional dairy markets
Despite ongoing issues in some key regions, the milk production growth rate is at its healthiest since 2016. Butter prices continue to shine, and milk prices are still improving.

The industry has now had a run of more than 40 months of consecutive milk supply growth and this is set to continue, albeit with regional variance.

New Zealand
Very wet weather across most parts of New Zealand has set challenging conditions for the start of the 2017/18 season. Provided conditions improve, we still expect strong milk production for the 2017/18 season.

Promotional activity is getting a positive consumption response. Coupled with weaker production, import purchasing has picked up strongly as anticipated, and this trend is expected to continue into 2018, albeit at a lower rate.

South America
A more solid rebound in milk production is underway across South America. The scenario for dairy consumption is less optimistic, given economic headwinds.

In Q3 2017, Australia milk production will have returned to growth, following seven quarters of consecutive declines. The 2017/18 season is forecast to deliver 2.5% growth, supported by improving farm profitability and favourable seasonal conditions.

Press release Thu, 05 Oct 2017 10:00:00 GMT 248121
<![CDATA[The Fundamental Change in the European Non-Alcoholic Beverage Market]]> In recent years, the western European market for non-alcoholic beverages (NARTD) has hardly grown in volume, while the number of brands, flavours, and product extensions has grown dramatically. Our RaboResearch report ‘With a Little Help from My (Bottling) Friends: Changing Production Footprints as SKU Numbers Rise” explains how this fundamental change will require companies to adjust their business models.

NARTD consumption in western Europe has been static in recent years. At the same time, brands have shifted from producing a small range of large stock-keeping units (SKUs) to a large number of smaller SKUs. This complexity is set to increase further, even though growth in SKUs will not be infinite and will slow down in the future. 
Many brand owners have not yet fully adjusted their operations footprint to the new landscape. As changeovers on production lines cost a lot of time, brand owners should reconsider their production model. The logical result, we believe, will be additional consolidation among established bottling networks, along with a growing role for larger, full-service contract manufacturers. 
“The recently observed consolidation in the Coca-Cola bottling landscape and the acquisitions made by Refresco in North America are indications of things to come,” according to Francois Sonneville, Senior Analyst – Beverages. “Although we expect some small, efficient toll manufacturers to survive in the near term, we believe they will eventually need to decide if they want to be consolidators or be acquired.”
You can find the report here.
Press release Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:18:14 GMT 247930
<![CDATA[Rabobank Beef Quarterly: Trade Dominates the Beef Agenda]]> The global beef complex is going through some major changes relating to trade flows, according to the Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q3 2017. Among other developments, Australia’s beef production is on the road to recovery, the US is dominating beef trade and Japan has introduced safeguard measures and increased the tariff on imported frozen beef.

Australia on the road to recovery
After almost two years of decline, Australian monthly beef production volumes changed course, increasing by 11% and 20% YOY, respectively, for the months of June and July. Is this the start of the rebuild, with increases in export volumes to follow, and cattle and beef prices to ease, rebuilding Australia’s presence and competitiveness in global markets? “While the decline in production has stopped, Australia’s ability to rapidly increase production—as has been seen in the US—will be limited, and a more gradual increase into global markets is expected,” according to Angus Gidley-Baird, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein.

US dominates trade
US beef exports are up 11% YOY in volume for the year to July and up 15% YOY in value terms. This highlights the ongoing availability of product for export from the US, as well as challenges in exporting from Australia and Brazil. US beef exports are up for the year to date to Japan (22% YOY), Hong Kong (33% YOY), and Canada (5% YOY). Australia has been restricted by availability of beef for export, while the ‘weak flesh’ scandal in Brazil slowed exports of all proteins in 1H 2017. At the same time, the US has recorded stronger-than-expected beef imports, which are up for the year to date by 11% YOY.
Japanese tariffs
After reaching the trigger level, the Japanese government introduced safeguard measures and increased the tariff on imported frozen beef to 50%. This will impact all nations sending beef to Japan, apart from Australia, Mexico, and Chile, which have trade agreements.
Argentina seeking US access
Argentina is trying to start shipments of fresh beef to the US. In August 2017, negotiations appeared to have taken a step closer to reaching an agreement, when Argentina announced that it had opened its market to American pork products, showing that bilateral meat trade is under discussion. If Argentina is successful in gaining entry to the US fresh beef market, it will have access to a 20,000-tonne beef quota.
Brazil exports recovering
After having declined by more than 8% during 1H 2017, Brazilian beef exports have shown a strong recovery during Q3 2017. In August 2017, they reached their highest level in four years. Consequently, beef exports reversed the negative results and have already increased slightly for the first eight months of 2017. Moreover, Brazilian beef exports are likely to sustain volumes above 2016 levels during Q4 2017.
Uruguay exports live cattle to China
In August, Uruguay sent a load of breeding cattle to China. A total of 6,710 female cattle made the 38-day journey. While not the normal practice—as frozen semen is usually imported for genetics improvement— the shipment suggests China is eager to explore ways in which to increase beef supply in the domestic market.
Press release Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:00:19 GMT 247927