World demand for hen eggs by 2015 will be 12 million metric tons more than in 2005, and equate with a production of 70.9mt, according to the International Egg Commission's statistical analyst, Professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst. Among the key predictions are that about two-thirds of additional demand will come from Asia, 12 percent from Africa and 11 percent from Latin America. While these regions will expand their contribution to global production, North America and Europe will lose market share. North American egg production is expected to increase less than 2 percent, Europe, a little over 3 percent, while Asia is projected to increase output by 22 percent.

Table 1: Prospects of the global population development between 2006 and 2015 (millions) 

Risk factors

These projections have been based on likely trends. However, projected levels of production could also be influenced by at least three other key factors: outbreaks of avian influenza, higher feed costs because of the boom in bioenergy production, and political decisions such as the banning of conventional cages in the European Union (EU).

Windhorst's approach to forecasting future egg demand is based on country-level socio-economic data: natural population increases, population age structure, degree of urbanisation, and projections of development of per capita national income.

Table 2: Projected development in global hen production (2005 and 2015; '000T) 

Remarkable' growth in Asian demand

In 2007, more than 60 percent of the global population lived in Asia. Per-capita and total egg consumption will increase in most Asian countries because of an expanding middle class with a growing buying power.

Because of the high population in Asia, even a slight increase in per-capita consumption will lead to a remarkable growth in total egg uptake.

Slow rise in Africa

In Africa, it is expected that egg consumption will remain fairly low compared to other continents. Demand here may not grow as fast as the population because of a low per-capita GNI, slow economic growth and political instability in many countries south of the Sahara.

Negligible increase in Europe

With 733 million people, Europe is ranked third among the continents, and it is the only one with negative population growth. Egg consumption in most of the EU-15 member states will remain fairly stable over the next decade, whereas it may increase considerably in some of the new EU member states because of the growing buying power in the new middle class. For Europe as a whole, only a minor additional demand can be expected because of the already high per-capita consumption and a decreasing population.

Prospect of considerable growth in Latin America

In 2007, about 52 percent of the 569 million inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean lived in only two countries Brazil and Mexico. In 2015, about 70 million more people will live in this subcontinent. Outside of Africa and Asia, this region has the lowest per-capita national income. However, a high rate of growth in the gross domestic product in several countries in this region will lead to an increase in buying power and higher consumption. Because of the expected population development and a growing buying power of an expanding middle class, egg demand will increase considerably in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Table 3: Projected development in per-capita egg consumption (2005 and 2015; KG/Person/Year) 

Little growth expected in North America

About 5 percent of the global population lived in the United States and Canada in 2007. "Because egg consumption is already relatively high in both these countries, low growth can be expected in spite of the efforts to convince consumers of the high nutritional value of eggs," says Windhorst. In North America, only a slow growth of per-capita consumption can be expected. Additional demand will mainly be a consequence of the natural population increase and immigration.

Minor upward trend in Oceania

With 35 million inhabitants, Oceania contributed only 0.5 percent to the global population in 2007. Compared to Europe and North America, egg consumption in Oceania is still quite low. However, it is expected to increase, in particular in countries outside Australia and New Zealand as a result of a growing buying power.

Only minor changes in total uptake are expected for Oceania because of the comparatively low population and only moderate economic growth rates.

Global trends

Global total egg production is predicted to rise from just under 59mt in 2005 to almost 71mt in 2015. More-or-less continuous growth in per-capita egg consumption is expected until 2015. However, whereas global per-capita consumption increased by 1.6kg between 1995 and 2005, it is predicted to grow by only 700g or 7.7 percent by 2015. This will, however, not be a homogeneous regional growth. The highest absolute increase is expected for Latin America and the Caribbean with 1kg, Oceania and Asia with 900g, and Africa with 800g. In North America and Europe, the growth rate will be considerably lower with 300g and 500g, respectively.

Projections for the global total for 2015 point to an additional demand of 12mt compared to 2005. On the country level, China shows the highest additional demand with over 6mt, followed by India, United States, Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey.EI

Based on an International Egg Commission report, a projection of the regional development of egg production until 2015 by Professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst, IEC's statistical analyst.