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GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS 2014: Asia: Biggest Exporter of Processed Chicken

10 September 2014

Global Poultry Trends 2014

Asia is the region that exports the most processed chicken products, according to poultry industry analyst, Terry Evans.

Global trade in fresh/frozen chicken meat escalated rapidly between 2000 and 2011 to reach 12.5 million tonnes (Table 1) although this likely exaggerates the true picture since much of the exports from Hong Kong will be re-exports from Brazil and the USA, already accounted for in the figures for the Americas.


Table 1. World trade in fresh/frozen and prepared/processed chicken meat ('000 tonnes)
Country20002005200620072008200920102011
World trade in fresh/frozen chicken meat ('000 tonnes):
Exports:
Africa 9.5 4.8 3.0 6.5 9.5 46.2 61.5 56.2
Americas 3,627.4 5,516.0 5,445.3 6,366.4 7,311.6 7,234.9 7,252.7 7,530.4
Asia 1,432.2 420.6 482.9 639.1 765.8 876.2 1,187.7 1,373.1
Europe 1,805.1 2,137.3 2,157.6 2,302.6 2,344.7 2,592.1 3,115.7 3,477.8
Oceania 14.3 21.8 20.7 28.2 31.0 33.3 29.2 32.8
World 6,888.4 8,100.6 8,109.5 9,342.9 10,462.6 10,782.7 11,646.8 12,470.2
Imports:
Africa 259.0 512.9 612.3 673.6 717.8 861.2 1,065.5 1,254.4
Americas 556.0 910.5 1,033.4 1,132.3 1,373.7 1,380.3 1,416.6 1,509.8
Asia 3,276.7 2,767.2 2,976.2 3,654.0 4,274.9 4,670.9 5,021.5 5,780.0
Europe 1,811.2 3,223.6 3,094.2 3,171.0 3,374.2 3,095.0 2,879.7 2,790.3
Oceania 26.4 35.5 32.4 35.6 37.9 42.6 47.0 57.0
World 5,929.3 7,449.8 7,748.4 8,666.5 9,778.5 10,050.0 10,430.4 11,391.5
World trade in prepared/processed chicken meat:
Exports:
Africa 1.8 2.1 2.7 3.3 1.4 1.0 0.8 0.7
Americas 92.9 270.2 335.7 381.9 427.1 418.5 427.6 424.8
Asia 212.4 515.8 554.0 606.5 599.3 603.0 700.8 814.6
Europe 260.8 432.7 453.9 551.9 635.0 680.3 694.8 746.3
Oceania 2.2 1.8 1.1 0.6 1.0 1.8 2.9 3.4
World 570.1 1,222.6 1,347.3 1,544.2 1,663.8 1,704.5 1,827.0 1,989.7
Imports:
Africa 1.9 7.0 6.8 8.7 8.9 7.3 7.7 10.7
Americas 67.8 90.6 103.2 119.4 127.4 122.4 137.0 154.8
Asia 186.7 389.6 423.9 448.3 412.6 429.4 538.2 648.9
Europe 304.3 677.6 717.8 804.1 932.2 948.0 1,009.2 1,075.0
Oceania 1.3 2.0 2.7 3.2 4.1 5.4 8.9 10.0
World 561.8 1,166.8 1,254.4 1,383.6 1,485.2 1,512.4 1,701.0 1,899.4
Source: FAO

To get the complete export picture, however, account needs to be taken of the trade in prepared/processed chicken meat. The latter has increased as a result of some importing countries imposing bans on shipments of fresh/frozen products from countries that had been hit by avian influenza. As a result, global exports of prepared chicken products have escalated from less than 600,000 tonnes in 2000 to close on two million tonnes in 2011 (bottom half of Table 5). This is equivalent to around 2.9 million tonnes eviscerated weight, making a world total when added to the fresh/frozen figure in the top half of the table, of around 15.5 million tonnes.

Asia is the leading regional exporter of prepared chicken products, shipping more than 800,000 tonnes in 2011, while Europe is the biggest buyer, purchasing more than one million tonnes in that year.

It is apparent from Table 1 that the quantities of frozen and processed chicken exported and imported in a year do not balance. There are many reasons for this, including:

  • Some countries provide data on a general rather than specific product basis.
  • Data may be presented on a financial or market year rather than a calendar year.
  • There is a time lag between product leaving a country in say December and arriving at its destination in say January of the following year.
  • There can be a misclassification of a product between the exporter and importer.
  • There can be place-of-origin/final destination inconsistencies. For example country (A) may report that the final destination is country C, but the goods actually reach C via another country (B). As a result country C may report the place of origin of the goods was country B.
  • Goods can be lost during transport, while occasionally differences can occur due to a typing or calculation error, and 
  • In some instances, exports may not be declared to circumvent an embargo or avoid tax payments.

Although the quantities of fresh/frozen chicken exported from Asia have risen in recent years, the total in 2011 was no higher than in 2000. It is on the import side of the trade statistics that Asia features strongly as it is easily the most important region acquiring some 5.8 million tonnes in 2011 compared with 3.3 million tonnes in 2000 (Table 1 and Figure 1).

Global Poultry Trends chicken Asia trade
Figure 1. Imports of fresh/frozen chicken meat into Asia are close to six million tonnes a year ('000 tonnes)

Chicken Meat Imports by Asian Countries

While Hong Kong SAR is the largest importer of fresh/frozen chicken meat in Asia - taking almost 1.2 million tonnes in 2011 (Table 2), more than 750,000 tonnes were re-exported, of which, some 625,000 tonnes went to Viet Nam. Of Hong Kong’s imports, some 528,000 tonnes were purchased from the US and 324,000 tonnes from Brazil.

Table 2. Imports of fresh/frozen chicken meat into Asia (tonnes)
Country2000200520072008200920102011
Afghanistan 25 23,192 11,342 32,316 23,056 38,591 51,004
Armenia 13,780 12,878 26,155 36,044 27,234 35,475 37,257
Azerbaijan 13,100 4,268 8,040 12,094 11,393 12,776 15,047
Bahrain 18,182 28,399 24,671 28,351 28,545 36,148 35,307
Bangladesh 0 52 22 1 0 0 0
Bhutan 20 0 0 145 163 384 255
Brunei Darussalam 920 214 241 175 721 447 877
Cambodia 71 2 1 228 418 178 332
China, mainland 7,899,742 370,418 773,300 787,196 722,242 515,536 385,498
China, Hong Kong SAR 993,778 455,394 537,860 653,408 715,341 1,011,178 1,176,978
China, Macao SAR 4,883 7,200 10,031 11,261 11,023 11,451 12,159
China, Taiwan 12,250 79,944 102,286 182,769 260,077 110,314 108,039
Cyprus 35 1,796 3,403 4,583 4,742 5,743 5,958
Georgia 16,386 16,218 26,588 36,012 38,254 39,558 43,963
India 0 0 23 0 0 0 0
Indonesia 14,017 3,817 4,735 5,294 2,687 125 9
Iran Isl. Rep. 22,656 0 25,067 25,484 25,484 29,719 64,569
Iraq 0 30,887 126,188 174,435 319,700 262,543 371,978
Japan 568,272 419,119 351,779 426,092 331,091 420,253 471,841
Jordan 363 11,911 24,283 41,697 39,363 46,953 47,117
Kazakhstan 19,885 108,656 146,312 131,748 108,120 100,000 156,756
Korea Rep. 66,082 46,520 44,875 57,881 61,782 92,881 116,849
Kuwait 57,972 161,855 143,416 191,942 220,729 184,506 159,397
Kyrgyzstan 1,970 11,812 22,287 40,325 18,901 86,804 72,825
Lao Peo. Dem. Rep. 8 7 10 0 0 0 0
Lebanon 3 380 194 2,016 6,392 8,829 3,719
Malaysia 29,876 17,133 32,582 31,705 27,783 36,097 39,822
Maldives 1,200 3,866 5,203 4,073 4,565 6,175 6,847
Mongolia 18 438 1,072 1,817 1,498 4,479 5,210
Myanmar 5 0 79 33 2,259 3,279 558
Nepal 0 50 4 1 0 196 313
Occ. Palestinian Terr. 3,958 9,000 5,300 8,200 9,400 11,000 8,400
Oman 24,566 51,927 57,540 75,500 134,911 74,126 90,060
Pakistan 0 0 13 6 0 5 6
Philippines 17,519 26,288 38,355 43,758 61,463 98,005 111,855
Qatar 23,905 25,534 33,446 44,423 67,881 51,992 74,720
Saudi Arabia 276,467 450,842 438,810 454,234 554,709 645,012 737,263
Singapore 83,887 91,228 103,213 104,089 99,029 104,665 111,714
Sri Lanka 1,321 1,580 3,377 1,940 844 841 1,891
Syrian Arab Rep. 0 127 2,076 1,079 20 2,845 8,581
Tajikstan 415 9,616 19,975 24,585 24,066 235,568 23,773
Thailand 22 11 16 23 24 310 1,162
Timor-Leste 4,100 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,617
Turkey 0 143 58 637 1,142 446 539
Turkmenistan 4,700 1,317 325 6,683 5,650 2,000 588
United Arab Emirates 110,900 170,336 240,243 274,446 311,669 285,569 319,366
Uzbekistan 9,167 6,475 3,349 3,638 3,222 4,758 11,089
Viet Nam 50 5,373 156,198 235,209 269,783 506,971 802,233
Yemen 60,196 101,441 95,155 72,862 109,059 104,280 81,683
ASIA 3,276,672 2,767,164 3,653,998 4,274,938 4,670,935 5,021,511 5,780,024
Source: FAO

Second largest importer in the region in 2011 was Viet Nam taking more than 800,000 tonnes.

Third in this import league table was Saudi Arabia buying nearly 740,000 tonnes of which 574,000 tonnes were supplied by Brazil and 146,000 tonnes by France. By 2023, it is forecast that Saudi Arabia will import more than one million tonnes a year.

Imports of fresh/frozen chicken to Japan are significant, amounting to 472,000 tonnes in 2011 of which 413,000 tonnes came from Brazil. However, in addition, Japan purchased some 428,000 tonnes of prepared chicken products, of which 220,000 tonnes came from China and 204,000 tonnes from Thailand. So, her total imports will have amounted to more than one million tonnes on a ready-to-cook basis. The current view is that this picture will change little in the future.

FAO data shows that imports of fresh/frozen chicken into Iraq escalated from around 31,000 tonnes in 2005 to 372,000 tonnes in 2011 (Table 2).

As mentioned in previous reports, production and trade data can vary according to source although in some cases the data are not directly comparable. USDA data, which includes prepared chicken, puts the 2011 figure at 598,000 tonnes with an estimate for 2014 of 730,000 tonnes (Table 3 and Figure 2). The figures for Hong Kong in this table have discounted re-exports from this country.

Table 3. Leading broiler meat importers in Asia ('000 tonnes)
 20002005200620072008200920102011201220132014F
Japan 721 748 716 696 737 645 789 895 877 854 865
Saudi Arabia 347 485 423 470 510 605 652 745 750 820 860
Iraq 21 139 124 186 227 397 522 598 612 673 730
Hong Kong 168 222 243 215 236 253 295 410 300 272 255
China 588 219 343 482 399 401 286 238 254 244 235
United Arab Emirates 112 167 182 238 240 240 195 213 223 218 214
Total of above 1,957 1,980 2,031 2,287 2,349 2,541 2,739 3,099 3,016 3,081 3,159
Prepared meat is included but chicken paws are not.
F = forecast
Source: USDA

Figure 2. Leading broiler meat importers in Asia ('000 tonnes)

The United Arab Emirates is also an important player with, according to the FAO, receipts amounting to nearly 320,000 tonnes in 2011, some 213,000 tonnes of which were bought from Brazil. More recent figures from a USDA GAIN report indicate that UAE’s imports may have amounted to 370,000 tonnes in 2013 with Brazil supplying 245,000 tonnes.

It is clear from Table 3 and Figure 2 that the expansion in trade to this region is coming from increased purchases by Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Imports into Saudi Arabia have increased almost annually and, according to this USDA data, will likely reach a record 860,000 tonnes in 2014.

Clearly China’s imports are in decline and the USDA figures indicate that this trend has continued into 2014. However, the Chinese government has recently approved five Brazilian plants for exports.

Chicken Meat Exports from Asian Countries

Regarding exports of fresh/frozen chicken meat, until recently Thailand has been the key player but sales slumped after an outbreak of avian influenza which resulted in importing countries imposing a ban on this trade. As a result, Thailand switched to exporting processed chicken. So, although exports of frozen product have increased in recent years, the total in 2011 amounted to only 51,000 tonnes.

Earlier in 2014, however, Japan decided to re-open its market to imports of Thai frozen uncooked chicken, which will likely boost its sales in this sector.

In sharp contrast, exports of Thai’s processed items have increased four-fold to reach 441,000 tonnes in 2011 as against 101,000 tonnes in 2000.

In 2011, Japan was the main buyer of these products, taking 204,000 tonnes followed by the United Kingdom with 135,000 tonnes.

It is anticipated that Thailand’s total chicken meat exports will continue to expand to exceed 900,000 tonnes by the 2020s.

Table 4. Exports of fresh/frozen chicken meat from Asia (tonnes)
Country2000200520072008200920102011
Azerbaijan 0 0 100 28 0 322 121
Bahrain 0 482 1,638 282 992 1,037 355
Brunei Darussalam 17 0 0 0 0 0 0
China, mainland 372,678 127,630 125,281 126,199 131,642 164,698 168,243
China, Hong Kong SAR 775,005 167,844 329,293 388,993 461,161 695,393 761,453
China, Macao SAR 33 15 20 13 20 0 22
China, Taiwan 1,004 880 1,064 509 2,447 3,525 3,413
Cyprus 283 68 611 962 958 1,305 1,019
Georgia 471 795 906 264 172 712 786
India 84 476 576 1,000 839 2,234 8,767
Indonesia 744 0 82 80 0 78 17
Iran Isl. Rep. 7,211 15,150 22,815 24,679 399 25,484 27,246
Israel 29 0 5,998 1,536 2,316 1,055 367
Japan 3,339 1,926 5,781 6,927 8,699 10,704 4,206
Jordan 0 1,909 2,618 20,000 21,802 19,231 16,472
Kazakhstan 54 149 2,933 2,498 52 52 10
Korea Rep. 1,381 2,121 4,691 8,056 10,955 20,197 22,779
Kuwait 1,178 28 24 24 765 172 457
Lebanon 201 520 731 679 937 1,264 1,864
Malaysia 3,023 291 691 2,773 4,333 7,279 7,740
Occ. Palestinian Terr. 50 130 220 350 350 350 350
Oman 100 7,066 4,740 9,386 31,262 12,174 11,800
Pakistan 0 3 0 1 0 501 1,718
Philippines 7 3,861 3,585 3,267 4,529 5,505 9,900
Qatar 12 248 119 1,060 999 999 999
Saudi Arabia 17,220 17,371 17,951 9,875 19,030 8,336 10,972
Singapore 3,284 11,439 14,499 8,846 7,162 8,798 10,267
Sri Lanka 51 4 21 206 584 2,259 1,812
Syrian Arab Rep. 0 1 850 26,813 8,779 6,673 548
Thailand 240,905 4,547 19,883 23,323 25,227 33,275 51,245
Turkey 3,659 44,317 50,832 78,519 114,166 138,395 234,148
United Arab Emirates 130 11,317 20,360 18,567 15,528 15,283 13,883
Viet Nam 0 0 24 24 24 292 103
Yemen 0 1 183 78 105 105 31
ASIA 1,432,153 420,589 639,120 765,817 876,234 1,187,687 1,373,113
Source: FAO

As is evident from Tables 4 and 5 and Figure 3, the most dramatic movement in the export market in Asia for fresh/frozen chicken meat has been the emergence of Turkey as a key seller. This country’s exports have rocketed from virtually nil back in 2000 to an estimated 480,000 tonnes in 2014.

Table 5. Leading exporters of broiler meat in Asia ('000 tonnes)
Country20002005200620072008200920102011201220132014F
Thailand 310 240 261 296 383 379 432 467 538 504 580
China 464 332 322 358 285 291 379 423 411 420 430
Turkey 2 30 23 26 42 86 110 206 285 362 480
Total of above 776 602 606 680 710 756 921 1,096 1,234 1,286 1,490
F = forecast
Source: USDA

In 2011, the biggest customer was Iraq with 119,000 tonnes, while Viet Nam bought 16,400 tonnes out of the total in that year of 234,000 tonnes.

With the decline in Turkish domestic consumption, exporters are looking to increased exports particularly to Saudi Arabia with an initial target of 100,000 tonnes. Sales to Japan and China are also under consideration.

Global Poultry Trends chicken Asia trade
Figure 3. Leading broiler exporters in Asia ('000 tonnes)

Further Reading

Go to our previous article in this series by clicking here.

September 2014

 



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