GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS 2013: Mexico Still No. 1 in Egg Consumption in the Americas26 February 2014
The rate of growth in the human population has slowed, both globally and in the Americas, writes Terry Evans. Despite a reduction in egg consumption in Mexico following the avian influenza outbreaks there, the country retained its top spot in the world for consumption in 2012 at 335 eggs per person and year.
World population growth has slowed and for the foreseeable future looks likely to average less than one per cent per year from now until 2050 when it is forecast to total 9.3 billion (Figure 1).
However, this growth rate is not applicable to all regions. For Africa between 2000 and 2050, the population is expected to expand by some two per cent per year while for Oceania, a one per cent increase is anticipated.
For most of the rest of the world, a gain of around 0.7 per cent per year is forecast. However, in Europe, the human population will decline. Consequently, while Africa accounted for just over 13 per cent of the global total in 2000, nearly a quarter of the world’s population will reside in this region by 2050.
For the Americas, the proportion of the global population will slip a little over this period from 13.6 to 12.9 per cent.
Looking to the near term (Table 1), by 2020, the global population will rise by a little more than one per cent per year, equivalent to an increase of some 1,534 million when compared with 2000. Of these extra people, 847 million (55 per cent) will be in Asia, 467 million (31 per cent) in Africa, 192 million (13 per cent) in the Americas and only 18 million (one per cent) in Europe.
|Table 1. World human population (millions)|
In 2013, the population of the Americas was estimated at 963.3 million. One-third (318.5 million) lived in the US with a further 200 million (21 per cent) in Brazil and 117.5 million (12 per cent) in Mexico. Hence, two-thirds of the regional total lived in these three countries.
The measurement of actual egg consumption takes place in only a few countries, the uptake figures presented by the FAO being estimates of the available supplies divided by estimates of the human population. There is considerable scope for error in the calculations around the estimates of layer numbers (especially when village or backyard flocks make a significant contribution to production), average yields, the average weight of an egg (where consumption is expressed in kilogrammes/person), and also in the estimates of human populations. Indeed, the variation between the theoretical and actual quantities of eggs available for consumption could range from between five and 20 per cent, depending on the reliability of the data used in the calculations. With such considerable scope for error in the calculations, it is best that the data for individual countries are used as a guide to the trend and not to pay too much attention to the actual figures and particularly to small differences from year to year.
FAO’s egg consumption series has not been updated since 2009. However, as the figures presented in Table 2 indicate, the average uptake in the Americas climbed by 800g person between 2000 and 2009 - a gain of almost eight per cent. This increase in the quantity consumed was on a par with the global gain but because the world average started from a lower base of 8.1kg per person, the percentage increase here was of the order of 10 per cent. By 2013, global average consumption is likely to have risen to around 9.4kg per person.
|Table 2. Human population of the Americas and egg consumption|
|Population (millions)||Egg consumption (kg/person/year)|
|British Virgin Isl.||#||#||#||#||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|US Virgin Isl.||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Venezuela Bol. Rep.||24.4||29.0||31.2||33.3||6.1||5.5||5.1||4.6||5.0||4.5|
|# Less than 50,000; - no figure
Of all the countries in the Americas, only a handful actually witnessed a fall in average consumption per person over the review period. One of these was the United States, where uptake having peaked at 14.9kg in 2006, then declined to stabilise at around 14kg during the last two years of the series.
That the average consumption per person may have fallen or shown little movement does not indicate that total egg consumption has declined as this will depend not only on changes in the available supplies but also in human population numbers. Also, without reference to price changes, a drop in consumption does not necessarily mean that demand has declined.
The most recent data on egg consumption provided by the International Egg Commission shows estimates of the number of eggs eaten per person, rather than by weight. Some of this organisation’s statistics for the key egg-producing countries in the Americas are shown in Table 3.
These figures point to a stable uptake for the US over the period 2010 to 2012. However, it has since risen to an estimated near 252 eggs in 2013, while the latest projection for 2014 points to a further substantial increase to 256 eggs per person.
|Table 3. Egg consumption in the leading egg-producing countries in the Americas
|- no figure
Source: International Egg Commission
Although the avian influenza outbreaks in Mexico brought about a resounding fall in consumption from 358 eggs per person in 2011 to 335 eggs in 2012, this country has still maintained its position of having the highest level of per-capita egg consumption in the world.
Uptake per person in Brazil is moving in the right direction but at a low level compared with the other leading egg-producing countries. However, when the size of the human population is taken into account, a small increase in the number of eggs eaten per person translates into a significant volume of eggs.
Consumption in Columbia looks to have expanded rapidly in recent years, reaching a high of 234 eggs per person in 2011. Although this figure is estimated to have fallen back to 228 in 2012, this will still be well above the 2009 figure of 215.
A massive boost in egg consumption in Argentina reflects the rapid rise in production which has occurred since 2008.
Consumption in Canada is increasing although not as dramatically as in most of the other countries, reflecting to a certain extent, the control which is exercised over supplies.
Although uptake in Peru is expanding, clearly there is considerable scope for growth before it reaches the 200 plus per person level achieved by the other major egg producers with the exception of Brazil.
Consumption of Processed Eggs
As a generalisation, the consumption of shell eggs in many developed economies has remained stable or even declined as the uptake of eggs in product forms has expanded. Indeed, in both the US and Canada at least 30 per cent of all the eggs eaten are consumed in product forms.
In contrast, the uptake in developing economies is almost entirely in-shell as the products industries have yet to develop.
Looking at the other largest egg producers in the Americas, there are no official figures of the consumption of egg products in Mexico, while it is estimated that about eight eggs (six per cent) per person per year are eaten as products in Brazil.
The quantity of eggs eaten in product forms in Columbia appears to be tiny.
In Argentina, some 14 eggs per person per year (six per cent) are eaten in this way, while the corresponding figure for Peru is just less than six eggs, equivalent to almost four per cent of total consumption.
However, for most of the countries in this region, egg industry expansion will stem from population growth and an increased uptake of shell eggs, which will be closely linked to improvements in real incomes.