Asia’s poultry consumption to increase 20 percent by 2037

In the next 20 years, it is predicted that the world’s poultry consumption will increase by 20 percent. Forty percent of that growth is expected to come from Asia and 30 percent from Latin America.

Andrea Gantz
Andrea Gantz

In the next 20 years, the world’s poultry consumption is predicted to increase by 20 percent. Forty percent of that growth is expected to come from Asia and 30 percent from Latin America.

With 54 percent of the world’s population living in Asia and its economy growing, Asia will have a huge impact on world poultry demand, according to Pelayo Casanovas, Cobb Asia-Pacific general manager. He spoke at the Global Poultry Trends Seminar presented by WATT Global Media and held at VIV Asia 2017 in Bangkok.

If the expected increase in poultry production and consumption occur, Casanovas said poultry would become the world’s most consumed meat over pork. But fish and seafood still have a very large portion of the diets of people in Asia.

“We forget that fish plays extremely important role in the food basket here,” Casanovas said.

Forty-two percent of total meat consumption in Asia is fish. Without fish, pork would be the No. 1 leader in consumption. However, excluding China, poultry is the most consumed meat in Asia.

Industry continues to grow

Casanovas cited a 2016 study by Gira which showed that in 2015 the United States produced 21,064 metric tons of poultry, while China and Brazil produced 19,300 and 13,600 metric tons, respectively.

There is a significant 7 million-8 million tons of China’s poultry production that are waterfowl. This is an industry that continues to grow, while the market for native chicken breeds has had a bit of a contraction, Casanovas added when discussing China’s production numbers compared with the U.S. and Brazil.

The world population is expected to continue to grow from 7.4 billion today to 9.3 billion by 2050. As it does, it is expected that the urban population in Asia will grow dramatically from 49 percent to 70 percent. Casanovas explained that if more of the population lives in urban areas and their incomes rise, the demand for all poultry products -- but primarily that of chicken -- will increase.

Avian flu’s impact on broiler breeders

The outbreaks of avian influenza in North America and Europe have had a significant impact on the supply of grandparent and parent flocks in China. When the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak peaked in 2015, the subsequent reduction in the supply of parent breeder stock in China was dramatic, falling from 45 million to 30 million head.

“I’ve never seen anything in my life like that,” Casanovas said.

Casanovas reported that in March 2017, parent stock hens were selling for more than $11 apiece in China, which he noted was unusually expensive.

Avian influenza outbreaks have slowed the growth of poultry consumption in some Asian countries, particularly China, where an H7N9 strain has a high mortality rate for humans who become infected after close contact with infected birds.

“Poultry associations in Asia are starting to work and educate the population on disease control and the ways to eat the standard broiler, which is not natural to many countries in Asia,” Casanovas said.

He suggested that the broiler industry in Asia should continue to convert to the more efficient modern broiler strains and away from the less efficient local breeds.

Room for growth in Asia’s egg industry

“Eggs are a cheap form of protein,” said Paul Buisman, product manager of Moba Group. He explained that, much like the demand for poultry meat, the demand for eggs will continue to grow with the population.

Buisman reported that there is a 2.2 percent yearly growth in egg production globally. He added that, within the next two decades, it is projected that there will be a 45 percent growth in global egg market demands. This provides a huge opportunity for Asia’s layer industry. In 2015, the Asia-Pacific region was already producing 60 percent of the eggs laid by hens, according to WATT Poultry Trends.

As the demand for eggs continues to increase with the population, it will become even more important to manage hygiene, Buisman noted. Ample time has been spent on trying to find the balance between managing quality, while still maintaining efficiency. Consumers want “perfect eggs” but if they are at all altered to meet the consumers' demands, then they do not want those eggs because they’re not "natural," he said.

Due to human illness from eggs in Asia, there has been an increase in demand for better food safety practices. Hygiene, along with better recordkeeping, is something Buisman feels the industry is capable of handling.

Consumers are concerned with where their food comes from and where it has been, according to Buisman. Current technology will make it easier to track eggs post production. Once consumers can track the products they are buying, he feels companies will have a better understanding of how well the company is really doing and if their products are deemed acceptable by consumers.

Success within the egg industry comes from highly skilled operators, Buisman said. When operators can make small improvements while still producing ample amounts of eggs, operations should in return see high financial benefits. Consolidation results in more numbers, however it also makes things harder to manage, Buisman said.

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