This week I heard two people independently of each other speak of the ‘MINT’ countries. Similar to the BRIC countries, this is one more of these flashy acronyms referring to economic potential – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.
According to my good old friend Wikipedia, the term was invented by a management firm in Boston, US, after which it was given more popular acclaim in November 2013 by Jim O'Neill, working for Goldman Sachs. Yes, the same person who was also responsible for 'BRIC' (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
The MINT countries are described as being the four most populous non-BRIC countries. O'Neill is quoted saying: "Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey all have very favourable demographics for at least the next 20 years, and their economic prospects are interesting."
Mexico, for sure, does offer opportunities pig-wise. An article by Maria Elena Trujillo and Jorge López in the upcoming issue of Pig Progress summarises that the country's pig inventory currently is estimated at 15,800,000 head. In an overview, by the US Department of Agriculture, Mexico is ranked tenth on a worldwide scale of estimated tonnes produced in 2014.
For pig production, this is as far as the MINT approach gets interesting. The other three countries – 'INT' – apparently offer less perspective for pork production, despite favourable demographics and economic prospects. The aforementioned USDA list does not mention either Indonesia, or Nigeria or Turkey. Religious beliefs and local traditions may largely explain their absence.
So – which are the 'coming countries', the 'runners-up' with regard to global pig production? Which countries do not appear among those markets being considered developed or those in BRIC – but are knocking on a global pig door?
A thought experiment, consisting of a cocktail of several lists, led to the outcome below. I estimated promising potential using relevant ingredients like area, population, current pork production levels, per capita GDP, and per capita GDP growth. I concluded the four most promising pig production countries in the world can be summarised by 'VUMP'.
*** Click here for VUMP countries (PDF)
Why Mexico is listed here – and is part of 'MINT' is not difficult to see – being relatively large, having a high population as well as its gross domestic product per capita being larger than the others.
The presence of Vietnam and Philippines is not surprising either. Both have had strong growth figures, a large population density and a predilection for pork.
Ukraine in this list is a dark horse. The country's pork production is relatively high (13th in the world), it is located in the middle of potential markets, in a country with plenty of space to grow and perhaps most importantly – with direct access to many arable grounds, so potentially low in feed costs.
Did I forget any countries? Let me know!