Asia offers optimism for global egg output post-COVID-19

The global egg industry can again look to Asia to be the growth driver over the years ahead.

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Asia is expected to drive growth in the global egg sector this year, further building on its impressive performance over the last decade.

Between 2009 and 2019, global egg production grew markedly by 32.7%, second only to chicken meat, amongst animal production sectors, which grew by 42.2%. An additional 20.6 million eggs were produced over the 10 years – implying an additional 27 eggs per person on the planet!

Can this growth be maintained in the post-COVID-19 world?

Data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest that global gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 4.4% last year, with the European (-8.3%) and Latin America (-8.1%) economies the two most affected by the pandemic.

For 2021, the IMF predicts that the world economy will bounce back with an expected growth rate of 5.2%, although the recovery will affect various regions differently. Emerging and developing Asia, with a forecast growth rate of 8%, will exceed the global average, despite having been affected the least last year (-1.7%).

This is excellent news for the global egg industry, as Asia is already the biggest contributor to its growth. Over the past 10 years, the region has accounted for 71.3% of all additional eggs produced worldwide. This strong growth is expected to continue with the recovery of the Asian economies, driving global growth for years to come.

Rising averages

An additional reason for optimism is that, while average egg consumption in Asia, at 187 eggs, is slightly higher than the world average, there are few consumption giants in the region, for example Japan, with 347 eggs, China with 331, and Indonesia at 293 eggs, that skew the figure. If these countries are excluded, average consumption falls to only 95 eggs per person.

A prime example of change in the region can be found in Bangladesh. Egg production there has more than tripled over the past 10 years, and Bangladeshis now consume an average of 105 egg annually.

While the pandemic may have resulted in approximately 15 million more of country’s population living below the poverty line, Bangladesh is now forecast to lead economic growth in the region.

Eggs, as we know, are an ideal food during financially difficult times, offering producers a regular income and consumers cheap, high quality protein. With more Asian countries increasingly expected to beat recovery forecasts, the egg business can only grow further still and have a greater impact on food security around the world.

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