China Amendments Slash Asian, World Egg Figures

China has drastically cut its estimates of hen egg production, with a dramatic impact on the total for Asia and, in turn, global output, writes Terry Evans for ThePoultrySite. FAO estimates total world production for this year to be 63 million tonnes.
calendar icon 27 January 2010
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For 2007, China's output has been reduced by more than four million tonnes (mt; 16 per cent) from 25.9mt to 21.8mt. As a result, the total for Asia nose-dived from 38.2mt to 34.6mt, while the global figure has been lowered to 59.3mt from the earlier estimate of 62.6mt.

For 2008, the latest output figures for China, Asia and the world are 22.8mt, 35.7mt and 60.7mt, respectively. Thus, global egg production is now seen to have exceeded 60mt for the first time in 2008 and not in 2006 as had previously been estimated.

Since 2000, the region that has expanded most rapidly has been South America, which has recorded an annual average growth rate of around 3.6 per cent. This compares with the global figure of just over two per cent, which points to an output of around 63mt for 2010.

Despite the downward revisions in the estimates of production for China and hence Asia, the latter region has increased its share of global output from 57 per cent to almost 59 per cent since 2000, and clearly this figure will reach 60 per cent in the not-too-distant future.

Hen egg production (million tonnes)
Region 2000 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Africa 1.9 2.2 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.4
N&C America 7.7 8.1 8.3 8.6 8.6 8.6
S America 2.8 3.1 3.2 3.6 3.6 3.7
Asia 29.2 31.9 32.8 33.1 34.6 35.7
Europe 9.5 10.0 9.9 9.9 9.8 10.0
Oceania 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3
WORLD 51.2 55.4 56.6 57.8 59.3 60.7
Totals may not add up due to rounding
Source: FAO

While China dominates the region – accounting for 64 per cent of the total – clearly there are queries over the published data primarily due to difficulties in determining the size of, and output from, backyard or village flocks. Some estimates put the commercial layer sector in China at around 1.4 billion birds, which would represent around 56 per cent of all the layers, assessed at 2.5 billion in 2008, according to FAO data.

Back in 2000, Japan was the second largest egg producer in Asia with an annual output of some 2.5mt. However, in the intervening period to 2008, Japan's output has barely increased while, in contrast, production in India has escalated by more than 0.7mt (36 per cent) to 2.74mt, knocking Japan off the number two spot.

Production in Indonesia doubled over the eight years to reach 1.3mt.

This year, Turkey is likely to become the fourth country in this region producing a million tonnes of eggs.

Five other countries – the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand – recorded outputs of around 0.5mt in 2008.

While Brazil is easily the largest producer in South America, accounting for half of the region's total, the rate of industry growth between 2000 and 2008 was actually faster in Columbia, Argentina and Peru. For Columbia an expansion of almost 70 per cent saw output exceed 0.5mt for the first time in 2008. Production in Argentina and Peru will likely exceed 0.5mt and 0.25mt respectively this year.

Although the US – with some 5.3mt in 2008 – represented 62 per cent of all the eggs produced in North Central America, the country with the most eye-catching expansion over the review period was Mexico, where output jumped 30 per cent from 1.79mt to 2.3mt.

Production in Canada is steady at around 0.4mt a year.

The egg industry in Europe has been stagnant with the total annual output for the region virtually unchanged over the five years from 2004 to 2008 at around 10.0mt. However, outside of the European Union, the Russian Federation recorded a near 12 per cent gain between 2000 and 2008, output rising from 19.0mt to 21.2mt, while Ukraine's industry expanded by a massive 72 per cent as production came close to 0.9mt in 2008.

Several European Union member countries actually reported cutbacks – in particular, France, Germany, Hungary and Italy – while just two recorded sizeable gains namely, Poland and Spain where output totalled 0.6mt and 0.7mt, respectively, in 2008.

Although the annual volumes are much smaller the industries in both Romania and Bulgaria also made significant advances during this review period.

The increases shown for Oceania are exaggerated when, as in the accompanying table, output figures are expressed to the nearest 0.1mt. In fact, production in this region rose by just 24 per cent during the eight years from 200,000t to 247,000t. The only significant producers in the region are Australia with an annual output in 2008 of around 200,000t, and New Zealand with almost 60,000t.

Africa has recorded a similar percentage increase in output to Oceania, though 70 per cent of the region's total comes from just five countries namely Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

January 2010

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