GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS - Asia Dominates World Duck and Goose Meat Production

In his latest article exclusively for ThePoultrySite, industry watcher, Terry Evans, explains that Asian countries lead the league tables in terms of the output of duck- and goose-meat. Compared with chicken meat, there is little international trade in these meats.
calendar icon 24 November 2010
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Duck Production to Exceed Four Million Tonnes

Between 2000 and 2009, world duck production increased by almost one million tonnes at a rate averaging 3.3 per cent a year. On the assumption that the upward trend has been maintained, output will have topped four million tonnes this year.

While all regions have recorded growth it is clear from the table below that the global industry is dominated by Asia, which has increased its share of the world total from 80.3 per cent in 2000 to 83.5 per cent last year, as growth has averaged 3.8 per cent.

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The industry in China has expanded by four per cent a year in the current decade output, rising from 1.9 million tonnes in 2000 to possibly 2.8 million tonnes this year.

All the other major duck-producing countries in this region have chalked up notable increases with the exception of Thailand, where the industry has contracted from more than 102,000 tonnes in 2000, presumably reflecting the actions taken after the outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and the association of this disease with free-range ducks..

Clearly, there has been little expansion in Africa where Egypt and Madagascar are the only countries growing significant quantities.

While production in the Americas, which effectively means the US, rose quite rapidly between 2000 and 2005, it has since stagnated.

In Europe, duck production has increased by only 1.7 per cent a year since 2000. More than half the regional total is produced in France. Germany and Hungary the combined output of these three representing almost 80 per cent of the total for Europe.

Figure 1. Duck meat production in the world, Asia and Europe

Little duck meat traded globally

The volumes of duck meat traded worldwide are small at less than 130,000 tonnes a year.

Europe is the most active region accounting for more than half of the total traded.

That the world totals for exports and imports do not balance exactly underlines the difficulties in monitoring transactions on a global basis. Normally, the total for exports exceeds that of imports as the majority of exports are usually conducted by a handful; of countries making the trade data easier to collect than from the relatively large number of importing countries. Also, there are instances of double-counting of exports/imports because of trans-shipments between countries.

In 2007, the bulk of the European trade was between European Union member states the major exporters being the Netherlands, Hungary, France and Germany. The leading customers of Dutch duck meat were Germany and Spain. Germany was also the key recipient of Hungarian ducks, followed by Austria, Slovenia and the UK. Germany and Spain feature prominently as leading buyers of French duck meat while the UK and the Russian Federation were the biggest recipients of German exports.

China accounts for most of Asia's exports and imports of duck meat. China is expected to become much more active in exports, especially of cooked duck meat as three plants, with a combined total capacity of some 30,000 tonnes, have been licensed to sell end-product to the EU. This amount is considered to be nearly treble the size of the total EU cooked duck meat market. Because of lower costs, particularly labour, the Chinese product is cheaper than either the Thai or European equivalent, hence it is considered that duck producers in the latter will face a major challenge from China in the years ahead.

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Goose Meat Production

Unfortunately, the available data from FAO on goose meat production includes guinea fowl. However, it is likely that, when looking at the total quantity of meat produced, that the volume of guinea fowl meat is not going to be particularly significant in the combined global total for the two, which in the preliminary figures for 2009 amounted to 2.5 million tonnes. This points to an expansion of some 600,000 tonnes or nearly one-third since 2000.

Some 94 per cent of the world total is produced in just one country – China. Indeed, this country has expanded its share of the global figure from 91.7 per cent in 2000 to 94.1 per cent in 2009.

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Since peaking at almost 109,000 tonnes in 2004, production in Europe has declined reflecting to a large extent the marked cut-backs that have occurred in Hungary from around 48,000 tonnes in 2000 to the current level of some 26,000 tonnes and also Bulgaria, where production has slumped from more than 12,000 tonnes to around 4,400 tonnes.

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World trade appears to have declined in the second half of the current decade as expanding shipments from Poland have failed to offset a drop in sales from both China and Hungary. Poland has become the world's leading exporter of goose meat as shipments have expanded since this country joined the European Union in 2004. Total sales in 2009 exceeded 18,000 tonnes, of which 15,700 tonnes went to Germany – the largest importer of goose meat.

Figure 2. Goose and guinea fowl meat production in the world, Asia and Europe

- You can view other articles in our series Global Poultry Trends by clicking here.

November 2010
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