GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS 2013: US Produces Half the World’s Turkey Meat08 June 2014
Half of global turkey meat output is the the United States, according to industry watcher, Terry Evans, in his latest review of this sector.
As the US accounts for almost half of world turkey meat production, clearly developments in that country have a significant impact on the global picture.
In November 2013, the World Agriculture Supply and Demand (WASDE) estimates for US turkey output in 2013 and 2014 were 2.62 million tonnes and 2.70 million tonnes, respectively. By April 2014, these figures had been revised downwards to 2.60 and 2.58 million tonnes. As the figure for 2012 was 2.67 million tonnes, the latest forecasts point to a downward trend for both 2013 and 2014. The data for the USA are the output of federally and non-federally inspected birds less condemnations.
World turkey meat production as assessed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) shows that there was an expansion of more than half a million tonnes or almost 11 per cent between 2000 and 2008 as output rose from 5.08 million tonnes to 5.63 million tonnes (Table 1 and Figure 1).
|Table 1. Turkey meat production (million tonnes)|
However, a cut-back in the Americas reduced the global total to 5.39 million tonnes in 2009. Since then, production has recovered to 5.63 million tonnes in 2012 recording an annual increase of 1.5 per cent per year.
USDA estimates of turkey meat production (Table 3; Figure 2) relate to 'selected countries' rather than every country, which is why the USDA annual totals are less than those released by the FAO. However, the gap between the two has narrowed in recent years to around 150,000 tonnes. Making allowances for the latest amendments to the US forecasts, global turkey meat production looks to have declined slightly in 2013 to around 5.54 million tonnes from an estimated 5.63 million tonnes in 2012, with a further tiny reduction to 5.53 million tonnes in 2014.
|Table 2. Indigenous turkey meat production ('000 tonnes)|
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Some 95 per cent of global production takes place in the Americas and Europe. The industry in Oceania has stagnated since 2008 and, although production has increased significantly in Africa since 2000, this region’s total is currently unlikely to exceed 150,000 tonnes a year.
The Americas: Top Turkey Producing Region
The Americas is clearly the largest turkey region producing 3.45 million tonnes or 61 per cent of the world total in 2012 (Tables 1 and 2) The production data for the individual countries in these tables is for what the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) describes as indigenous production which is defined as the quantity of meat from slaughterings of home-grown birds plus the meat equivalent from such birds exported live.
The United States was the main contributor to the regional total with 2.65 million tonnes or almost 77 per cent. Back in 2008, America produced a record 2.84 million tonnes but, as indicated above, output has since slipped back to around 2.6 million tonnes.
Production is expected to be lower than in the previous year during the first six months of 2014 but to be greater in the second half. This increase is expected to arise from higher average bird weights at slaughter as growers take advantages of an expected decrease in feed costs.
The industry is confident of growth in the long term, the latest USDA projections pointing to an output of 3.1 million tonnes in 2023, exhibiting an annual growth rate of less than two per cent.
The top five producing states are Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia, while the top five turkey companies are Butterball LLC, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc, Cargill Value Added Meats, Farbest Foods Inc. and the Hillshire Brands Company.
A long way behind the US, Brazil is the second largest producer in the region. Between 2000 and 2011, output in this country escalated by some 12 per cent a year from 137,000 to 489,000 tonnes (Table 2). However, the increase in feed costs and a slow-down in domestic demand put a brake on growth in 2012 to four per cent at 510,000 tonnes, this rise being primarily based on a continued growth in exports.
For both 2013 and 2014 increases of around two to three per cent have been predicted as total output rises initially to 520,000 tonnes and further to 535,000 tonnes. However, another forecast puts 2014 output a little lower at 514,000 tonnes, anticipating a slower growth in demand as a result of higher turkey prices and competition from alternative broiler products.
FAO data reveal that the turkey industry in Canada - controlled by a supply-management scheme - peaked at 162,000 tonnes in 2008, then declined to 2010 but has since stabilised at around 145,000 tonnes. The USDA assessment also shows a contraction of some 15,000 tonnes, output falling from 180,000 tonnes to 165,000 tonnes during this period. In 2012, there were 531 turkey producers and 20 federally inspected turkey processing plants.
Having expanded by more than 60 per cent between 2000 and 2008, annual output from Chile has contracted a little in recent years in response to higher production costs.
|Table 3. Leading turkey-producing countries ('000 tonnes)|
|* Total for selected countries; F = forecast
Turkey Production in Europe
European Union (EU) countries produce almost all of Europe’s turkeys. Production is concentrated in just five member countries – Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Poland. Most of the statistics relate to an EU of 27 countries despite Croatia becoming the 28th member in July 2013. However, production in Croatia is minute at under 5,500 tonnes in 2011, hence its addition will have had little impact on the EU situation.
EU output having come close to 2.0 million tonnes in 2000 it then contracted to around 1.7 million tonnes in 2007. Since then, it has grown at around two per cent a year to around 2.0 million tonnes in 2012.
An unprecedented rise in raw materials and energy costs resulted in a dramatic increase in feed prices and according to AVEC (Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU), the consequences have been particularly severe on the turkey sector because of the relatively high level of protein in turkey diets and that turkeys have a higher feed conversion ratio than chickens.
Nevertheless, AVEC claims that turkey output in the EU increased by two per cent in 2012, which created an oversupply due to a decline in consumption. Hence, production contracted in 2013 as industries in most member countries adjusted to this situation. Consequently, based on the FAO data, output in the EU and Europe will likely have slipped below 1.9 million tonnes this year and last. Although there are significant differences in the estimates of turkey production in the EU, according to source, in general, the trends are similar.
After years in decline, in 2010, France lost her position as Europe’s number one turkey producer to Germany. However although the actual number of birds slaughtered in France declined by around five per cent in 2012, the average weight at slaughter increased by some nine per cent to 11.3kg, boosting total output by some 2.2 per cent.
This situation was not expected to change significantly in 2013. However, putting this into perspective, back in 2000, France produced some 763,000 tonnes of turkey meat when it was more active in the export market than today.
Italy is a major turkey meat producer although annual outputs have not shown any definite trend in recent years with, according to the FAO sources, production ranging from 280,000 tonnes to 338,000 tonnes.
Poland is an enigma with regard to turkey production. FAO data puts annual output at a mere 50,000 tonnes which is only half the quantity that this country exports! In contrast, AVEC figures indicate that some 280,000 tonnes were produced in Poland in 2011, rising to 290,000 tonnes in 2012.
The only other major producer in the EU is the United Kingdom, with annual production put at 201,000 tonnes in 2012.
Outside the EU, the sole significant producer is the Russian Federation, where output was static at around 30,000 tonnes a year until 2010 but has since escalated to an estimated 100,000 tonnes in 2012/13, while for 2014, the current forecast is 105,000 tonnes.
Production of Turkey Meat in Other Regions
Turkey production in Africa is small but growing slowly, amounting to almost 120,000 tonnes in 2012. Production comes mainly from two countries - Tunisia and Morocco - where the latest output figures for 2012 were 58,700 tonnes and 36,500 tonnes, respectively.
Asian production is almost entirely based on Israel’s industry, the quantity of which, although apparently stable for the past few years at around 90,000 tonnes, is well below the 137,000 tonnes achieved in 2000.
Australia’s industry accounts for almost all the output of Oceania, though production in recent years at around 22,000 tonnes has been well below the 36,400 tonnes achieved in 2007.