GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS 2012 - Asia, China Dominate Global Duck and Goose Meat Production

Although small when viewed in the context of total poultry meat production, percentage growth in the output of duck and goose meat is well ahead of chicken meat, according to Terry Evans in his analysis of the current state and future trends in these markets. For both meats, Asia in general and China in particular account for the great majority of the total volumes.
calendar icon 30 October 2012
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World Duck Output Heads towards 4.6 Million Tonnes

Global duck production will approach 4.4 million tonnes in 2013 and 4.6 million tonnes in 2015. During the decade 2000 to 2010, output grew at an annual average rate of 3.4 per cent as production expanded from 2.9 million tonnes to exceed 4.0 million tonnes (Table 1 and Figure 1). The 2010 total broadly equated with around four per cent of world poultry meat output.

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The growth in duck production has exceeded that for all poultry meat, which has now slowed to less than two per cent a year. While in keeping with this overall trend, future growth in the duck sector will be unlikely to match that achieved between 2000 and 2010, it should continue to exceed that for all poultry meat and output could well reach 4.6 million tonnes by 2015.

Worldwide duck slaughterings in 2010 were assessed at 2,737 million by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which, at an average eviscerated weight of almost 1.5kg, yielded an output of 4.03 million tonnes.

Asia dominates world production and as a result of an average annual expansion of some 3.7 per cent a year, output in 2010 reached 3.3 million tonnes or 83 per cent of the world total.

Figure 1. Global duck meat production in selected regions and countries ('000 tonnes)

Production is dominated by Asia (Table 1 and Figure 1). The number of ducks killed in this region in 2010 was put at nearly 2,500 million, though the average slaughter weight was the lowest for all the regions at 1.34kg. Just one country, China, accounts for 82 per cent of the regional output of duck meat and 68 per cent of the global figure. The Chinese industry expanded by nearly four per cent a year throughout the decade and increased its share of the regional total from 80.6 per cent to 82.2 per cent. In 2010, duck slaughterings in China were put at 2,082 million according to the FAO. The average carcass weight was assessed at 1.3kg, yielding an estimated output of 2.74 million tonnes. The Chinese government is encouraging intensive production to reduce the risk of disease infection, particularly highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza.

Production in Thailand contracted sharply between 2000 and 2005 but has since stabilised at around the 80,000 tonnes a year mark. The industries of both Malaysia and Myanmar have both recorded good growth in recent years.

Expansion in Europe averaged a shade over two per cent a year as output expanded by almost 100,000 tonnes from almost 400,000 tonnes in 2000 to 490,000 tonnes in 2010, when it represented some 12 per cent of the world total. Production is almost entirely concentrated in the European Union, where three countries France (clearly the leader with 56 per cent) followed by Germany (13 per cent) and Hungary (11 per cent), accounted for 80 per cent of the total for Europe (Table 1). Nevertheless, the industry has expanded in all the major EU producing countries with the exception of the UK where it contracted by some 29 per cent between 2005 and 2010. However, another set of statistics indicates that UK production fell by one-third during these five years from 45,000 tonnes to 30,000 tonnes.

While there appears to be little duck production in Russia, a recent report in, mentions that the Russian government is to invest in a large-scale duck operation in 2013 with a potential annual production of 20,000 tonnes.

Although Oceania recorded the fastest rate of growth at some nine per cent a year, this was entirely due to developments in Australia, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of the region's output.

While the number of ducks killed in Africa is small at just 36 million a year, this industry recorded annual growth of some 4.7 per cent as production climbed from 56,500 tonnes to nearly 90,000 tonnes. Egypt and Madagascar combined accounted from some 81,500 tonnes or over 90 per cent of the regional total in 2010.

Region showing the slowest growth during the review period (0.4 per cent a year) was the Americas; since 2005, production contracted sharply from almost 131,000 tonnes to just 96,000 tonnes in 2009 although a small recovery was noted in 2010. The slump was entirely due to a cut-back in the US from around 85,000 tonnes to the 50,000 tonnes or so level. The only other major producer in this region is Mexico although output appears to have been static at around the 20,000 tonnes a year mark.

Little International Trade in Duck Meat

Some four per cent of global duck production was traded internationally in 2010, the quantity in fresh/frozen forms amounting to 154,000 tonnes. Europe was the leading exporting region transporting almost 78,000 tonnes, almost all of which was sold by European Union member countries to other EU member countries (Table 2).

A similar picture emerges from Asia, where China is by far and away the major exporter, while Hong Kong SAR is easily the biggest buyer taking some 52,000 tonnes in 2010 (Table 3), more than 70 per cent of which was purchased from China.

Aside from Asia and Europe, the volumes of duck meat traded are small though growing.

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China Boosts Consumption

While the level of consumption worldwide has increased only a little since 2000 to around 600g per person and year, average uptake in China has risen sharply from 1.4kg to 2.0kg per capita. Economic growth will continue to stimulate the quantity eaten per person here and this, coupled with further increases of the human population, will guarantee an expansion in the total quantity of duck meat consumed in China and worldwide.

Global Annual Goose Meat Growth Hits Three Per Cent

In the decade to 2010, goose meat production expanded by almost three per cent a year as it climbed from 1.9 million tonnes to a little over 2.5 million tonnes, representing 2.6 per cent of world poultry meat output. Unfortunately, these figures (Table 4) include a small quantity of guinea fowl production, as the FAO does not distinguish between these two types of meat.

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As Asia recorded an annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent, this region's share of the global total increased from 93.8 per cent to 96 per cent. As Table 4 illustrates, production in China accounts for more than 99 per cent of the regional total. Industry growth over the decade averaged 3.2 per cent, expanding China's output from 1.75 million tonnes to 2.41 million tonnes.

Europe is the only other region with significant goose production although the total has slipped from 81,000 tonnes in 2000 to less than 64,000 tonnes in 2010, almost entirely because of a collapse in Hungary's industry from 48,000 tonnes to around 17,000 tonnes. Production has also been cut back in the Czech Republic and France but expansion has been recorded in Germany, and particularly in Poland where output nearly trebled between 2000 and 2005 but has since stagnated at around 18,500 tonnes a year, according to FAO estimates.

Production in Africa has shown a slight upward trend mainly as a result of an increase in Egypt.

Goose production in the Americas appears to be negligible and shows little sign of significant growth. Canada accounts for more than half this region's total.

Clearly, future growth will be linked to developments in China. It is believed that a US company is investing in what is expected to be the world's largest duck and goose enterprise in Jiangxi Province, capable of producing some eight million ducks and two million geese a year. In 2010, FAO estimated that China slaughtered some 602 million geese and guinea fowl in 2010, which represented 99 per cent of all these birds killed in Asia and 94 per cent of the world total.

Figure 2. Global goose meat production by region ('000 tonnes)

The FAO's data on international goose meat trade includes imports/exports of guinea fowl. Tables 5 and 6 show that the volumes involved are small, representing less than two per cent of world output. The export and import totals do not balance because of timing differences between shipments leaving and arriving at their destinations. Also, countries record trade differently with some not reporting the poultry meat data by category. Clearly, world exports have seldom exceeded 50,000 tonnes a year.

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While Europe accounts for most exports and imports, virtually all this trade is between EU member states.

For China, the quantity of goose meat eaten per person and year appears to have increased between 2000 and 2010 from 1.35kg to 1.75kg. This has impacted on the global picture, increasing average uptake from around 310g to 370g per capita. However, it must be appreciated that of the degrees of estimation involved in these calculations are considerable and so too much attention should not be paid to the changes in the evaluations of consumption.

November 2012

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