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The market of flesh-based products: industry reports and statistics

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Global Poultry & Meat Industry Statistics


The world market for meat and poultry is one of the largest segment of the wider food industry and is predicted to grow at almost 4% a year to reach nearly $640 billion in 2015, according to MarketLine. Chilled meat products are the leading product segments in the industry, accounting for sales in excess of $236 billion, or 45% of the global market.


The world’s fresh meat market is expected to hit the 300-million ton mark by 2015, reports Global Industry Analysts. Market drivers include rising population, market recovery following setbacks due to diseases such as the avian flu, and greater levels of urbanization. Asia-Pacific is a leading region in meat consumption, where demand is rising due to strong economic growth and higher incomes.


Meat retail expansion is reliant on distribution systems, affordable transportation costs, urbanization, with subsequent construction of supermarkets and hypermarkets, effective disease control, and good slaughter facilities. As health conscious consumers in the West turn to vegetarian diets, meat demand is slowing. This is offset by rising demand in Asia-Pacific, which is followed by North America and the EU in terms of consumption.


The meat industry has suffered due to diseases such as foot and mouth disease and avian flu, with imports of some products being banned in major markets. Pork meat leads the meat market, with poultry, beef and veal following. The biggest producers of cattle include the US, China, India, Argentina and Brazil.


Key Market Segments


  • Global demand for beef continues to rise due to the meat’s high protein content, coming third in the list of meats consumed primarily as sources of protein. The beef market is bolstered by rising disposable incomes and growing awareness of the important role of protein in the diet.


  • According to the World Agricultural Board, beef exports are set to grow 5% in 2012 due to strong demand from regions including North Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. India is to knock the US from third place in terms of beef exporters, mainly rising supplies and competitive pricing strategies. Expansion in the US beef industry is slowed by falling production. Russia continues to top the list of the world’s beef importers.



Regional Market Share


  • The US meat market is witnessing a trend towards free-range, grass-fed, organic products. The US market for fish, poultry and fresh red meat combined generated sales in excess of $93 billion in 2010, showing almost 1% annual growth in the four-year period ending 2010. Beef led the industry in the same year generating sales of $28 billion, or almost a third of the US meat market. Yearly growth is expected to exceed 1% for the five-year period ending 2015 to bring the market to almost $99 billion.


  • In the UK, the combined market encompassing fish, poultry and fresh red meat generated over $31 billion in sales in 2010, according to MarketLine, representing 5% yearly growth for four consecutive years. The UK meat market is expected to fall to just over 4.5% throughout the five-year period ending 2015, bringing market value close to $40 billion.

Industry Leaders


The leading players on the global meat and poultry market include: US-based Cargill Meat Solutions, Tyson Fresh Meats, Foyle Food Group, Itoham Foods, ConAgra Foods based in Omaha, Cremonini, Amadori Group, US company Hormel Foods, Kepak Gropu, Nippon Meat Packers, Sara Lee, Premium Standard Farms, and Smithfield Foods. Other key players include Danish Crown, JBS, Kraft Foods, Brazilian-owned Perdigão, Pilgrim’s pride, US chicken processor Perdue Farms, Dawn Farm Foods, and Toronto-based Maple Leaf Foods.



Market Outlook


Beef and veal demand will remain largely the same going in 2012 as stronger demand in Argentina, Brazil and India make up for falling US demand. US production is set to fall 5% to under 11.5 million tons. India’s cattle production will remain strong, as the world’s biggest consumer of dairy products.

World production of pork is expected to grow 2% to exceed 103 million tons in 2012, fuelled by higher production in China and South Korea. Chinese pork production is set to rise 4% to exceed 51 million tons as the market recovers from diseases such as swine flu. US production will rise 2% to almost 11 million tons, benefiting from greater supplies over other protein sources on the domestic market. 



Leading Industry Associations




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