How has the food sector performed in the last couple months?
Despite suffering from decreasing domestic consumption, the Belgian food sector has weathered the crisis well. Crédito y Caución assess the development in the tobacco, food and beverage, meat, and other foodstuff subsectors as satisfactory, while fruit and vegetables show a deteriorating trend.
What is the current trend in payment delays, payment defaults and insolvencies?
With the exception of tobacco, Crédito y Caución has noticed a slight worsening in payment behaviour in the industry over the last couple of months. The insolvency rate remains at an acceptable level, although the Company has also noticed a slight deterioration recently.
In contrast to other food subsectors, Crédito y Caución has seen some medium and large credit insurance claims for fruit and vegetables. This subsector suffered in 2009 from very low prices, which have weakened some of the businesses active in the industry. In 2010, there are two main contributors to fruit and vegetables problems: a decrease in consumption and higher pressure on distributors prices.
What is the Crédito y Caución approach to the sector?
Our underwriting strategy reflects a positive approach to tobacco, food and beverage, meat, and other foodstuffs, while a more restrictive stance on fruit and vegetables [especially on undercapitalized newly established businesses], as we do not foresee any signs of improvement in the short-term for this particular subsector.
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