A growing population and demand growth in the market for livestock products, especially in developing countries, has led to rapid trade growth in poultry and egg products. 

Changes in the trade of egg products 

In the global market for eggs, shell eggs have historically been the most commonly traded form of eggs; however, the market for eggs is expected to shift over the next decade on Rabobank projections that egg industry consolidation will continue and increasing globalization will occur in the egg processing and egg products industries.

One country expected to see growth in its egg processing sector over the coming years is India. India's relatively low egg production costs compared to the EU and some Asian countries, making it a potential growing exporter over the next decade. India’s dried egg products are already well accepted in Europe, but are only produced by a few companies, so the country show much potential for expansion in the global export market. 

Total U.S. exports of shell eggs rose in the first half of 2012, up 31 percent to 6.91 million dozen. U.S. table egg exports in the first half of 2012 rose 34 percent to a record 49.6 million dozen, valued at $43.7 million. The top export markets for U.S. eggs in 2012 remain Hong Kong, followed by Canada, United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas and Angola. Exports to Japan, an important market for the U.S. and typically the largest exporter of processed egg product, decreased in the first half of 2012 by 25 percent to $21.8 million. However, the EU’s ban on conventional cages has increased egg production costs in that region, opening the market in 2012-13 and possibly beyond for more exports of U.S. eggs. During the first half of 2012, the EU-27 region imported 120 percent more egg products from the United States than during the same time in 2011, valued at $26.7 million, accounting for 38 percent of U.S. total exports globally, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service

In 2013, exports of eggs and egg products in the U.S. are expected to continue to expand to the equivalent of 266 million dozen eggs in 2013, which is slightly higher than the forecast for 2012. Growth in the U.S. egg export market will be driven by strong demand from growing Asian countries, notably Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. EU-27 member states exported 111,121 metric tons of eggs in 2011, 83,543 metric tons of which are for consumption. Switzerland was the top destination of main trading partners for EU-27 eggs, as that country imported 36,600 metric tons of eggs in 2011, 29,939 metric tons of which were eggs for consumption. 

Of the 6,788 metric tons of eggs imported by EU-27 member states, 1,799 metric tons were eggs for consumption. The EU region will again import the greatest amount of dried whole eggs compared to other egg products by the end of 2012; most recent data available show the region’s 2011 dried whole egg import volume totaled 10,559 metric tons in eggs equivalent. 


Poultry meat trade driven by demand from Asian countries 

In the international market for poultry meat, a total of 7.126 million metric tons will be imported in 2012 by major importing countries and that number is projected to grow over the next decade by 1.5 million metric tons (21 percent), according to the latest agricultural projections from USDA. Major importers are expected to trade 8.634 million metric tons of poultry meat by 2021.

Russia, historically the largest world importer of poultry meat, will see its import volume decline from an estimated 374,000 metric tons, ready-to-cook, of poultry meat in 2012, to 254,000 metric tons in 2013, which will decline further to reach eventually an estimated 114,000 metric tons in 2021. Poultry meat imports in the Middle East now account for more than 40 percent of imports by major importers and is expected to increase to more than 50 percent by 2021. The largest single-country importer is now Saudi Arabia, which will import an estimated 880,000 metric tons of poultry meat in 2012 and 926,000 in 2013. Japan, the world’s second largest poultry meat importer, will import an estimated 805,000 metric tons in 2012, declining to 800,000 metric tons in 2013. The third largest poultry meat importer in 2012, the EU, will import nearly 800,000 metric tons in 2012 but is expected to take over as the second largest importer in 2013 at an estimated 808,000 metric tons. Mexico is also becoming one of the world’s largest importers of poultry meat. The country’s import volume is projected to rise from 760,000 metric tons in 2011 to 789,000 metric tons in 2012 and 804,000 metric tons in 2013. 

Total exports of poultry meat in 2012 by major traders will total an estimated 9.163 million metric tons, based off USDA forecasts, and are projected to rise to 11.067 million metric tons over the next decade to 2021. 

Brazil, the world’s largest exporter, will ship approximately 3.555 million metric tons of poultry meat in 2012 and 3.620 million metric tons in 2013. The U.S., a close second, is estimated to export 3.413 million metric tons in 2012 and 3.442 million metric tons in 2013. Over the coming years, the U.S. market share may increase thanks to trade with Saudi Arabia, Japan and Hong Kong, where the compound average growth rate is growing faster than in Brazil, according to Adrian Westerstrate, global co-head of Rabobank’s Animal Protein Sector. Concurrently, though, U.S. exports have grown slower than Brazil’s in China, Japan and Kuwait. For example, U.S. exports of broiler meat have remained steady, as the country exported 6.9 billion pounds of broiler meat in both 2009 and 2010, which was down just slightly from 7 billion pounds in 2008, according to USDA/Economic Research Service. Additionally, Brazil’s poultry meat imports to China, where U.S. exports were shut out, have since increased and are expected to near 300,000 tons in 2012, according to Westerstrate. In the long term, projections show the U.S. will export 3.697 million metric tons of poultry meat by 2021, while Brazil will remain the largest major exporter at 4.813 million metric tons by 2021.