GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS 2013: Population Growth Will Boost Asia’s Egg Uptake19 March 2014
The rate of human population growth in Asia is forecast to be slower than the global average, according to industry analyst, Terry Evans. Over the period 2000 to 2009, average egg intake per person in Asia overtook the world figure but there is great variation between Asian countries, offering considerable potential for increased egg consumption in the region as a whole.
While real income improvements, as long as the gains are spread throughout the population, have a positive impact on egg sales in all except the most developed economies, the one factor which is almost guaranteed to increased total egg consumption in the future is population growth.
Over the long term to 2050, when compared with 2000, the world population is forecast to expand by around 0.8 per cent per year, pushing the total up by almost 3,200 million from 6.1 billion to 9.3 billion (Figure 1).
For Asia, the rate of growth will be slower at 0.65 per cent. Hence, as a proportion of the global total Asia’s share will decline from 60.7 to 55.3 per cent. Nevertheless, this region of the world will have an extra 1,432 million mouths to feed as the total climbs from 3.72 billion to 5.14 billion.
In the shorter term - between now and 2030 - Africa’s contribution to the global population total will rise sharply from 13.3 to 18.8 per cent, while Asia’s share dips from 60.7 to 58.5 per cent. However, of the 2,200 million extra people on Earth in 2030, some 1,150 million (52 per cent) will be in Asia (Table 1).
|Table 1. Human population of the world (millions)|
In 2013, the population of China was assessed at nearly 1,391 million or nearly one-third of the regional total.
India was the second most populous nation with 1,275 million or nearly 30 per cent. However, as India’s population is expanding at a shade over one per cent per year compared with China’s 0.25 per cent, by 2023 there will be more people living in India than China.
The third most populated country is Indonesia with 247 million followed by Pakistan (183 million), Bangladesh (154 million), Japan (126 million) and the Philippines (98 million), these seven accounting for 81 per cent of the regional total in 2013.
Outside a national census, the population figure in any country is an estimate and although generally speaking there are not great differences depending on the source, occasionally and India is an example, population estimates can differ markedly.
No country measures egg consumption directly, the figure being based on an estimate of available supplies divided by the estimate of the population. There is considerable room for error in calculating the number of eggs available for consumption particularly where the non-commercial or backyard flocks account for a significant proportion of total output. This difficulty is magnified if the calculation is made on a weight basis as this involves trying to determine the average weight of all the eggs.
As there is little carry-over of eggs from year to year, egg consumption is primarily a reflection of egg production. Should an industry suffer financial losses, production will be cut-back and although in some instances imports can make up for part of the shortfall, total consumption will likely fall. Where there has been an increase in the human population, the consumption per person will certainly decline. Consequently, too much attention should not be paid to year-to-year movements in per person egg consumption. Most importantly these changes in consumption should not be seen as an indicator of a change in the demand for eggs.
The data published by the FAO (Table 2) indicate that the quantities of eggs available for consumption on a per-person basis increased between 2000 and 2009. The average for Asia in 2000 (8.0kg per person) was below the global figure (8.1kg) but by 2009, at 9.2kg, it was above it (8.9kg).
|Table 2. Egg consumption (kg/person/year)|
The individual FAO country data (Table 3) reveals that for most, there is considerable scope for an increase in egg uptake.
While the quantity of eggs eaten in Japan hardly changed between 2000 and 2009, the latest figures from the International Egg Commission (IEC) indicate that the Japanese eat the most eggs uptake in 2012. This was estimated at 328 per person or around 20.7kg (based on an average egg weight of 63g). Of the total, 51 per cent was eaten in-shell; the remainder was consumed as egg products.
Egg consumption in China increased sharply from 2000 to 2009. However, according to IEC data, it has since contracted, particularly in 2012, to just over 274 eggs. Fewer than two eggs were consumed as products.
Research on egg consumption in India reveals great variation in the average uptake from as little as 20 eggs or so per person per year in rural areas to 170 eggs or more in the major cities. Consequently, the overall average is low, estimates ranging between 55 eggs per person according to the Indian investment company, ICRA, to 62 eggs according to IEC’s reporter from that country.
Favourable socio-economic factors encourage continued increases in consumption. These include rising purchasing power, changing food habits, greater urbanisation and an expanding middle class. Regardless of the differences in the estimates of consumption per person, egg uptake in India looks to have increased 10-fold in the past 50 years, which is a tremendous achievement considering that the human population trebled in that time.
With a population growth of one per cent a year for the near future, the total requirement for eggs will rise substantially even if the number eaten per person is unchanged.
Dr T. Kotaiah, Managing Director of Indbro Research and Breeding Farms Pvt, considers that current egg availability equates with some 63 eggs per person and that this will rise to 100 before 2020.
A large increase in egg production in Turkey in 2012 dramatically boosted egg consumption from 168 to 185 eggs per person.
The IEC data for Iran shows a similar picture to that for Turkey with both production and consumption rising sharply in 2012 as uptake averaged 191 eggs per person.
There is growth in the production of so-called 'designer eggs' in Malaysia to meet the demand for what are considered to be healthier eggs, which are lower in cholesterol and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption in 2012 was assessed at 320 eggs per person.
|Table 3. Human population and egg consumption|
|Human population (millions)||Egg consumption (kg/person/year)|
|Iran Isl. Rep.||65.3||74.0||77.9||81.1||6.8||8.9||7.1||7.7||7.9||7.7|
|Korea Dem. Peo. Rep.||22.9||24.4||24.9||25.4||4.5||5.5||5.6||5.8||5.7||5.8|
|Lao Peo. Dem. Rep.||5.3||6.2||6.6||7.1||1.7||1.9||2.0||1.9||2.1||2.1|
|Occ. Palestinan Terr.||3.2||4.0||4.7||5.3||10.5||9.5||9.7||10.4||9.8||9.6|
|Syrian Arab Rep||16.0||20.4||22.2||24.1||6.9||7.3||9.3||8.3||7.4||7.8|
|United Arab Emirates||3.0||7.5||8.4||9.2||11.6||10.1||9.1||9.5||9.2||6.2|
|P projected; - no figure