November 25, 2020

1.2 Outlook for the global egg industry

Production and consumption of table eggs around the world has changed significantly in recent decades. Less developed and threshold countries are now playing a much stronger role in global egg production and trade with Asia undoubtedly taking the lead.   Source :-  Prof. Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst, Vechta, Germany, International Egg Commission (IEC)[1] Special Economic Report (April 2011)

Global shell egg production increased from 35.2 million tonnes in 1990 to 61.2 million tonnes in 2008 or by 73.6%.   Professor Windhorst, Statistical Analyst, IEC estimates that by 2015, egg production will need to be as high as 70.9 million tonnes to meet global demand.

The highest absolute increase was in Asia with 22 million tonnes, followed by North America with 2.7 million tonnes, Central and South America with 1.6 million tonnes and Africa with 1 million tonnes. The remarkable increase of the production volume in Asia led to a considerable shift in the spatial pattern of egg production.

Whereas in 1990 the contribution of Asian and European countries to the overall global production was still quite similar, the situation had completely changed in 2008. With a share of 58.6%, Asia was in a dominating position. In the same time period Europe lost almost half of its former share, all other continents were also not able to maintain their former contribution.

Europe was the only continent with an absolute decrease of the production volume, it lost 1.5 million tonnes. This was mainly due to the socio-economic transformation process in Eastern Europe. The described spatial shift reflects the dynamics of egg production in several less developed and threshold countries.

Global egg consumption has tripled in the past 40 years with consumer quality expectations increasing just as fast.  By 2015, egg production will need to be as high as 70.9 million tonnes to meet global demand.  The recurring question throughout the international egg industry, is, how to increase egg production sufficiently to feed the world’s growing population, while also complying with increased regulations.

Some interesting facts

  • Over 65% of global egg production takes place in Asia – besides large scale operations, producing for supermarkets and the processing industry, the sale of eggs on the street also contributes largely to growing consumption.  (stock shot)
  • Of the ten leading countries in 2008, four were located in Asia, three in the Americas and three in Europe. Only one EU member country, France, was left among the top listed egg producing countries.
  • Egg consumption in India is the lowest in Asia with less than 50 eggs per capita per year.
  • 80% of Chinese egg production occurs on small-scale backyard family-type operations.  The Chinese consume over 300 eggs per capita per year. However, there is over-capacity in the market.
  • Japan is one of the largest importing countries of egg products in the world buying eggs from Germany, the Netherlands and the US.
  • Eggs used for processing are at an all-time high in North America at 32% of total production (up to 50% within in-line facilities in 2008), while in Europe around 27% of all eggs produced in 2008 were bought by processors.
  • It is expected that the present pattern of egg trade will not change thoroughly over the next years. There will still be three major clusters of egg trade, one in Northern America, one in Western Europe and one in South Eastern Asia. A fourth cluster between India and Western Asian countries is developing.

[1] solely dedicated to eggs representing 60 countries with over 80% of global egg production