The dynamics in Asian egg production over the past two decades have been remarkable. The reason for this has been not only the rapid production increase in China, but also changes in other Asian countries, particularly India and Japan. These three countries alone currently contribute some 46% to global egg production, reveals Professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst in his report for the International Egg Commission Patterns and dynamics of egg production in the sub-regions of Asia.
Between 1990 and 2008, Asian egg production increased from 13.8 million tons to 35.7 million tons, or by 158.5%. This sharp increase was mainly due to the dynamics in Eastern Asia, where production volume grew by 16.5 million tons, however, the sharpest relative increase occurred in Southern Asia, where a rate of 223.8% was recorded.
The contribution of Eastern Asian countries to the continent’s egg production increased from 69% in 1990 to 72.9% in 2008, after a peak of 76.7% in 1999. Analysis of development in individual countries reveals that China witnessed remarkable change in its production. Over the period, volumes increased by 16.2 million tons, or 246.7%. A sharp increase occurred in the first half of the 1990s, slowing in the period to 2006, after which a new phase of sharp growth began.
In Japan, production volumes grew by only 5.6%, or 135,000 tons, while in the Republic of Korea growth reached 41.5%, or an additional increase of 163,000 tons.
China and Japan together accounted for 97.3% of egg production in Eastern Asia in 2008, and with the predicted increase in buying power of China’s middle classes, growth in Chinese egg production can be expected to continue.
The contribution of the Southern Asian countries to Asia’s egg production fluctuated between 13.1% and 11.9% between 1990 and 2008, peaking at 12.6% in 2006. The slight decrease post-2006 is due to increasing output in Eastern Asia and a fall in Indian production.
Over the 18 years to 2008, India achieved the highest absolute growth with an additional 1.6 million tons (+136%) of eggs produced. The country was followed by Iran, which expanded production by 416,000 tons (+141%) and Pakistan where output rose by 283,000 tons (+129.3%). Despite India’s impressive record, egg production declined in both 2007 and 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis.
Between 1990 and 1998 the contribution of South-Eastern Asian countries to total production fell from 11.8% to 7.8%. However, between 1998 and 2008, it expanded to 9.4%.
This has been a region where growth has been far more uneven. The upward trend in Indonesia was interrupted in 1997-1998 because of the Asian economic crisis, which hit Indonesia particularly hard, the and avian influenza outbreaks of 2004 and 2005. The avian influenza outbreaks were also significant for production in Thailand and the Philippines. In Thailand production failed to return to 2003’s level until 2008.
Between 1998 and 2008 egg production in South-Eastern Asia grew by 1.25 million tons, to which Indonesia contributed 874,000 or 70%.
Almost 71% of egg production in this region is accounted for by Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, 37.7% in Asia alone. Indonesia is expected to strengthen its dominating role, however avian influenza remains a threat in the region, as the volume of backyard flocks and trade in live birds remains common.
Despite production in this sub-region growing from 879,000 tons to almost 1.7 million tons, or 92%, over the 18 years to 2008, its contribution to Asia’s total production shrank from 6.4% to 4.7%.
In Turkey, production volumes increased constantly between 1990 and 1998, reaching a peak of 865,000 tons. Since then, production has fluctuated greatly, but never returned to high point reached in the 1990s.
Egg production in Saudi Arabia grew by 60,000 tons (+53.6%) between 1990 and 2008, allowing the country to reduce imports and increase exports, while Israel has seen its imports increase with home production falling from 117,000 tons in 1994 to 97,000 tons in 2008.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Syria together dominate this region, accounting for 69.3% of total production.
Data for this region is only available from 1992 to 1998. Between 1992 and 196, volumes decreased by 58.4%, or over 153,000 tons and its contribution to total egg production in Asia fell from 2.7% to only 0.6%. Despite Central Asia’s production has almost returning to 1992 levels, its share of the continent’s output was only 1% in 2008.
With the exception of Turkmenistan, all the countries of the region reached a low point in 1996. Since then there has been an upwards trend, yet in many countries, 1992’s levels are yet to be achieved. The exceptions to this have been Uzbekistan (+27,900 tons), and Turkmenistan (+17,900).
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the two leading countries in this region, account for 82.6% of total output, nevertheless, Kazakhstan remains a major egg importer.
Because of China’s dominant position in Asia, the regional concentration in the continent’s egg production is very high. The leading 10 countries share over 92% of total production, with the top three countries accounting for 78.7%.
In contrast to Europe, where some 10% of egg production is traded, trade in eggs in Asia accounts for only 1% of the volumes produced. In 2007, two of the five sub-regions recorded an egg deficit, and three a surplus.
In 2008, Asia achieved a small surplus in egg production. The main exporters were China, Malaysia, India and Turkey, while the main importers were Hong Kong (the primary destination for Chinese exports), Singapore and Iraq.