Presenting his view of new perspectives on global developments in eggs at a seminar held during the 2010 VIV Europe show in the Netherlands, Albert Vernooij of Rabobank International projected an increase in the trade in eggs between countries. Only 2.5% of the eggs produced each year are traded internationally at present.

Some 72% of the country-to-country trade currently involves shell eggs, with just 14% shares each for powdered eggs and liquid egg products. However, the growing importance of a modern food industry in Asia is expected to have a significant impact on the egg products industry, initially through more trade and later through more processing done at Asian plants.

Over the next two decades we are likely to see a 45% increase in the worldwide demand for eggs, Mr. Vernooij declared. Shorter-term, the probable rises in demand from 2008 to 2015 have been assessed to average 2.2% per year for table eggs and as much as 4.8% annually for egg products.

The story of the global growth in egg uptake has already been remarkable, from no more than 20 million metric tons per year in the 1960s and 1970s to around 40 million metric tons by the 1990s, and reaching about 60 million tons in 2010.

Asia, South America and Africa will lead the next phase of growth in demand, said Mr. Vernooij. The potential is shown by the fact that although the world average uptake today is around 100 eggs per person per year, the range stretches from a high of 300 eggs per person in places such as Japan and Denmark to lows near zero in parts of Africa.

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Also, expect Asia and South America to provide several notable locations for rising egg production. Indonesia’s output of eggs is forecast to grow by 4.7% annually in the period 2008-2015, while India and Brazil have been predicted to record averages of 4.4% per year. For Mexico the projected rate of annual increase is put at 3.7%, ahead of 3.2% for Thailand and 2.9% for China.

Geographic differences for China’s production of poultry meat and eggs have been demonstrated by an analysis of data from the China Animal Agriculture Association (CAAA).

For example, broiler production is spread more widely geographically among the Chinese provinces than is true for eggs. Whereas just four provinces account for over 50% of all egg output, the combined production of six provinces is needed to provide over half of the chicken produced nationally.

The top provinces for eggs in terms of national market share are Hebei (approximately 15%), Henan (14%), Shandong (13.5%) and Liaoning (9.5%). Smaller shares are held by Jiangsu (almost 6.5%), Sichuan (5.25%), Anhui (around 4%), Heilongjiang (3.5%), Hunan and Jilin (both near 3%). The main provincial producers of poultry meat in China are Shandong (14.5%) and Guangdong (9.5%), some way ahead of Guangxi and Jiangsu (both around 7.5%) and Liaoning (close to 7.25%). They are followed by Anhui and Henan (both 6%), Sichuan (5.25%), Hebei (5%) and Jilin (4%).