Chicken Meat to Top 81MT This Year

Based on newly published data from the FAO, chicken meat production is likely to top 81 million tonnes this year, writes Terry Evans for ThePoultrySite.
calendar icon 13 January 2010
clock icon 5 minute read

Since 2000, chicken meat has accounted for a little more than 86 per cent of the total poultry meat produced worldwide. So, on this basis, should the forecast of poultry meat production by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for this year of 94.2 million tonnes be realised, then chicken meat output is set to top 81 million tonnes (mt) for the first time.

Gathering production data from more than 200 countries is a time-consuming exercise, hence it is not surprising that the figures for 2008 have only just been released.

World poultry and chicken meat production
(2000-2010 forecast; million tonnes)
Region 2000 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2010
Africa 3.0 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8
N C America 20.3 23.1 24.0 24.3 24.8 25.3 25.1
S America 9.7 12.9 12.5 13.1 14.3 15.7 15.6
Asia 23.2 26.1 27.7 28.8 30.4 31.6 33.0
Europe 11.9 13.0 13.1 13.1 13.9 14.4 15.8
Oceania 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.1
World 68.9 79.3 81.8 83.7 88.0 91.7 94.2
World 59.0 68.3 70.5 72.3 76.1 79.4 81.0
* Totals may not add up due to rounding
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization

The latest estimates for 2009 reveal that poultry meat output worldwide virtually stagnated last year with the total of close to 92 million tonnes, showing only a small gain over 2008. If confounded, this would represent the first time that aggregate poultry meat production has failed to show a significant year-on-year gain since records have been kept. Of the total, almost 79.5mt is estimated to have been chicken meat.

Between 2000 and 2008, the most rapid expansion, with an annual growth rate of more than six per cent a year, occurred in South America, as annual production escalated from 9.7mt to 15.7mt. In doing so, this region increased its share of the world total from 14 per cent to more than 17 per cent. Over three-quarters of this expansion was attributed to the growth in the industry in Brazil, where poultry meat output escalated by almost 4.6mt (75 per cent), from 6.1mt to 10.7mt between 2000 and 2008.

While Argentina is the second largest producer in the region with production rising 20 per cent from 1.0mt to 1.2mt, the most rapid growth occurred in Columbia, where production doubled from 0.5mt to 1.0mt.

However, in volume terms, the region showing the most spectacular growth has been Asia, with output rising by almost 8.5mt (four per cent per year) from 23.2mt to 31.6mt during the eight-year period. The forecast for this region for 2010 is close to 33mt or around 35% of the world total.

During the review period, poultry meat production in China went up by 24 per cent from 12.7mt to 15.8mt, while the forecast for this year currently stands at around 16.6mt.

But, the country in this region recording the most rapid growth was India. Here, output has more than doubled from 1.1mt to 2.6mt in 2008.

Indeed, during the eight years, the number of countries producing more than one million tonnes a year in this area of the world, doubled from four (China, India, Japan and Thailand) to eight, to include Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Turkey.

Between 2000 and 2008 the regions of Africa, North Central America and Oceania, all turned in average annual growth rates of around 2.7 per cent.

Production in North and Central America is dominated by that of the US, where output expanded from 16.4mt to 20.1mt. However, 2009 witnessed a cutback in the USA with output for that year and the forecast for 2010 also fails to hit the 20-mt mark.

Mexico, the second largest producer in the region, reported a 40 per cent gain over the eight years as output climbed from under 1.9mt to over 2.6mt.

Production in Canada has eased a little in recent years, though the annual total is expected to come close to 1.2mt this year.

The region noting the slowest growth during this period was Europe where the annual average increase was below 2.5 per cent as output rose by just 2.5mt from a little under 12mt to almost 14.5mt. And, around half of this gain was attributable to just one country – the Russian Federation – where the annual figure increased from less than 0.8mt to exceed 2.0mt. Additionally, continued relatively rapid growth in this country will push the total up to exceed an estimated 2.8mt for 2010.

A dramatic four-fold increase has occurred in the Ukraine, with output reaching almost 0.8mt in 2008 and possibly hitting 0.9mt this year.

Poland has also reported rapid expansion as annul production climbed from around 0.6mt in 2000 to nearly 1.0mt in 2008. In sharp contrast, production slumped sharply in France from 2.2mt to 1.6mt during the eight years.

January 2010

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