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GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS - Europe Dominates World Egg Trade

18 April 2015

Global Poultry Trends 2010

As a region, Europe accounts for most of the global trade in eggs and egg products, explains industry analyst, Terry Evans.

World trade for hen eggs in shell almost doubled between 2000 and 2011. More than 90 per cent of this business revolved around European and Asian countries with Europe clearly the dominant region for both exports and imports.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has not yet updated the international trade data for shell eggs and egg products. The most recent picture for shell eggs is presented in Table 1 and Figures 1 and 2.

Table 1. Global trade in hen eggs in shell ('000 tonnes)
 2000200620072008200920102011
Exports of hen eggs in shell:
Africa 6.2 5.9 3.7 5.7 6.6 11.4 7.4
Americas 93.0 102.0 128.9 114.2 109.8 114.9 126.6
Asia 204.1 287.6 386.4 514.7 539.4 536.8 552.8
Europe 640.7 835.1 894.8 1,037.5 1,105.6 1,353.3 1,118.9
Oceania 0.9 1.1 1.0 1.9 3.8 4.8 3.7
WORLD 944.8 1,231.6 1,418.8 1,674.1 1,765.1 2,021.2 1,809.4
Imports of hen eggs in shell:
Africa 25.7 48.0 51.0 50.2 46.1 54.4 63.4
Americas 66.3 67.6 62.3 74.1 67.2 66.2 66.7
Asia 235.8 284.8 369.8 430.9 464.4 498.4 558.6
Europe 557.5 802.1 983.4 1,024.1 1,047.8 1,060.0 990.6
Oceania 0.7 2.4 1.5 1.7 2.4 2.8 1.8
WORLD 886.0 1,204.8 1,468.0 1,581.0 1,627.9 1,681.8 1,681.2
Source: FAO
Global Poultry Trends 5m Publishing
Figure 1. Global exports of hen eggs in shell by region ('000 tonnes)
Global Poultry Trends 5m Publishing
Figure 2. Global imports of hen eggs in shell by region ('000 tonnes)

Tables 2 and 3 highlight the point that European Union (EU) member countries dominate the business, accounting for the bulk of exports and imports from and to European countries with only minimal quantities traded between countries outside the Community.

Overview of Egg Trade in Europe

The European Commission provides data on the EU egg trade for shell eggs and products with non-EU countries on a shell egg-equivalent basis. On the export side, the total in 2011 amounted to only 217,000 tonnes (not including hatching eggs) with Japan taking the equivalent of 66,000 tonnes as egg products. The 2012 figures show a contraction to 186,000 tonnes though this trend was reversed in 2013 to 215,000 tonnes with Japan purchasing 64,500 tonnes and Switzerland 42,100 tonnes.

It looks as though exports to non-EU countries expanded by some seven per cent in 2014, primarily as a result of a large increase in business with Japan.

Regarding imports into the EU from non-EU countries, again expressed in tonnes as shell egg equivalent, the quantity received in 2011 was a little less than 21,000 tonnes, of which Argentina was the biggest supplier with 8,100 tonnes. However, total purchases increased to almost 38,000 tonnes in the following year of which 15,200 tonnes came from the US and nearly 10,200 tonnes from Argentina.

In 2013, the total fell by 46 per cent to less than 21,000 tonnes as a result of significant reductions in the quantities received from the US and Argentina, while the estimate for 2014 points to another large cut-back of some 41 per cent as shipments from the US and Argentina slumped by 52 per cent and 73 per cent, respectively. Of particular note is that purchases from India have increased annually since 2010 and will have exceeded 5,100 tonnes in 2014.

European Trade in Shell Eggs

The Netherlands was the leading European shell egg exporter in 2011 with some 381,000 tonnes, of which 257,000 tonnes were transported to Germany. But, according to the International Egg Commission statistics, Dutch shell egg exports in 2011 at 427,000 tonnes were higher than the FAO figure. This source also quotes a figure of 394,000 tonnes for 2012 rising to 410,000 tonnes in 2013.

The most dramatic feature of the data presented in Table 2 is the rapid expansion in exports from Poland, which have risen from a mere 272 tonnes in 2000 to almost 174,000 tonnes in 2011, making this country the second largest trader behind the Netherlands. Of the 2011 total, nearly 58,000 tonnes went to West Germany, 33,000 tonnes to the Netherlands, 22,000 tonnes to the Czech Republic and 10,000 tonnes to Slovakia. According to IEC data, this trade has continued to grow amounting to almost 220,000 tonnes in 2013.

Germany was the third biggest exporter in Europe in 2011, with sales of almost 139,000 tonnes, of which nearly 78,000 tonnes were bought by the Netherlands. Since then exports have contracted somewhat. At that time, Germany’s production had fallen to a record low of 662,000 tonnes and consequently imports escalated and were approaching 500,000 tonnes. However, domestic production has since recovered and hence the requirement for imports has reduced such that by 2013, according to the IEC, it had eased back to 354,000 tonnes.

Table 2. Egg exports in shell from European countries (tonnes)
 2000200520072008200920102011
Albania 0 656 2,308 3,033 1,825 3,308 2,763
Austria 797 3,765 6,013 5,310 5,570 6,079 8,151
Belarus 36,975 26,229 25,754 27,456 31,519 33,123 36,734
Belgium 76,228 75,663 63,388 65,992 69,558 78,354 46,382
Bosnia/Herzegovina 0 25 763 1,629 2,143 3,629 3,151
Bulgaria 1,700 3,381 6,598 8,295 9,908 10,011 10,079
Croatia 339 90 436 143 230 562 360
Czech Republic 4,310 7,055 6,681 8,242 9,446 7,892 12,266
Denmark 13,405 3,831 4,588 2,995 3,706 3,824 6,202
Estonia 67 385 30 151 371 868 1,866
Finland 6,006 9,214 6,007 6,425 5,007 8,526 8,625
France 43,900 39,373 41,332 49,194 50,551 57,009 32,715
Germany 66,514 95,836 91,023 104,285 106,319 115,106 138,558
Greece 1,218 1,438 159 750 963 194 90
Hungary 4,286 5,252 4,456 4,440 12,967 12,231 8,762
Iceland 391 5 9 9 6 5 6
Ireland 611 5,359 1,412 2,384 4,540 2,217 2,586
Italy 1,168 8,854 10,496 12,802 19,075 27,679 20,633
Latvia 1,822 3,342 9,618 8,510 15,482 18,985 15,732
Lithuania 1 11,249 18,178 14,034 11,305 10,713 10,184
Luxembourg 19 23 41 36 27 58 59
Macedonia Rep. 4,902 1,673 1,327 172 491 152 450
Moldova Rep. 3,621 3,784 710 182 0 165 455
Netherlands 295,645 267,420 345,720 419,247 396,445 603,280 381,310
Norway 463 172 157 105 901 354 108
Poland 272 49,431 88,245 118,240 142,143 152,850 173,992
Portugal 3,416 4,983 5,173 5,729 6,061 8,647 8,505
Romania 6 87 1,811 2,607 3,201 6,410 2,991
Russian Federation 9,846 6,233 14,539 11,691 16,414 12,887 12,610
Serbia - - 593 407 122 348 171
Slovakia 588 2,781 5,798 10,210 8,930 14,700 19,682
Slovenia 764 1,248 1,516 1,932 1,799 2,051 2,322
Spain 47,775 102,761 105,155 121,501 124,707 122,657 96,200
Sweden 3,189 2,577 1,192 1,671 1,269 3,101 6,717
Switzerland 0 42 5 3 27 12 90
Ukraine 375 1,031 15,047 10,366 35,514 18,558 39,043
United Kingdom 9,661 8,615 8,482 7,329 7,016 6,783 8,326
EUROPEAN UNION 583,792 714,051 833,558 982,477 1,016,676 1,280,997 1,023,437
EUROPE 640,676 754,238 894,764 1,037,520 1,105,568 1,353,328 1,118,896
WORLD 944,793 1,111,230 1,414,784 1,674,065 1,765,121 2,021,225 1,809,404
- no figure
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Source: FAO

The Netherlands was the region’s second largest importer in 2011 with 156,000 tonnes, though the volumes purchased since appear to have contracted towards the 130,000 tonnes a year mark.

The third main importer Belgium appears to purchases fairly regular quantities of around 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes a year.

Table 3. Imports of eggs in shell into European countries (tonnes)
Country2000200520072008200920102011
Albania 393 171 21 20 20 5 25
Austria 9,847 19,447 18,759 18,230 22,466 22,398 18,098
Belarus 113 16 35 88 658 724 813
Belgium 29,052 42,300 40,036 46,681 43,475 60,931 56,693
Bosnia/Herzegovina 1,565 1,750 703 343 552 487 469
Bulgaria 285 1,090 759 1,090 1,518 1,296 2,221
Croatia 198 178 3,183 1,794 1,940 2,789 2,210
Czech Republic 3,439 21,158 20,043 12,555 17,253 23,398 26,704
Denmark 19,949 22,198 19,062 18,900 16,112 9,005 11,473
Estonia 1,777 1,930 5,464 5,719 4,720 5,242 5,381
Faroe Isl 440 270 321 261 443 298 263
Finland 103 2 423 783 1,923 9 1,019
France 61,046 82,896 176,876 132,010 143,351 54,240 63,034
Germany 219,564 273,195 311,437 337,465 427,373 481,540 416,616
Greece 1,202 4,029 5,304 3,967 6,453 5,543 6,516
Hungary 946 15,044 17,755 13,396 14,981 8,575 11,716
Iceland 14 12 13 13 16 14 13
Ireland 1,840 4,218 4,779 5,686 7,499 5,260 3,848
Italy 62,821 14,371 23,653 20,119 23,446 39,891 28,270
Latvia 198 935 2,967 3,808 4,300 5,926 7,479
Lithuania 101 664 184 140 489 2,784 5,394
Luxembourg 2,818 2,203 2,041 2,087 2,131 1,859 1,725
Macedonia Rep. 19 24 3 31 42 25 8
Malta 424 206 226 264 358 341 530
Moldova Rep. 50 159 68 233 439 120 512
Montenegro - - 63 624 893 1,118 1,736
Netherlands 55,637 88,166 180,954 225,237 121,578 168,700 155,745
Norway 339 743 2,632 1,600 593 196 1,480
Poland 1,194 11,720 10,097 18,299 27,798 19,244 21,030
Portugal 4,723 5,708 10,778 9,573 10,708 9,642 10,117
Romania 4,918 5,804 5,535 11,018 14,655 14,654 16,263
Russian Federation 917 7,130 10,188 9,926 11,973 16,738 22,017
Serbia - - 236 714 809 589 418
Slovakia 744 7,450 7,608 16,622 16,993 9,291 9,203
Slovenia 744 851 1,518 2,002 2,249 2,254 1,764
Spain 2,442 1,701 3,802 4,271 4,928 4,909 9,719
Sweden 9,280 3,588 7,630 5,682 5,220 5,596 3,680
Switzerland 23,594 28,345 32,312 34,370 33,562 34,336 32,147
Ukraine 892 4,127 2,207 5,203 5,626 3,887 3,179
United Kingdom 32,773 37,710 53,750 53,267 48,258 36,099 31,096
EUROPEAN UNION 528,104 669,178 935,719 971,292 992,433 1,002,009 928,295
EUROPE 557,498 712,824 983,425 1,024,091 1,047,801 1,059,953 990,624
WORLD 886,023 1,093,651 1,468,005 1,580,962 1,627,866 1,681,751 1,681,176
- no figure
Source: FAO

Trade in Dried Egg Products in Europe

Europe is the key exporting region for dried eggs representing more than half the world figure (Table 4 and Figure 3). The Americas is the next most important region with sales representing 34 per cent of the total in 2011. Unfortunately the FAO data does not include the trade in albumen.

As with shell eggs, the EU accounts for the bulk of Europe’s exports equivalent to well over 90 per cent of the total in 2011. In that year, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium combined exported almost 21,000 tonnes or 71 per cent of the EU total.

Global Poultry Trends 5m Publishing
Figure 3. Global exports of dried egg by region ('000 tonnes)
Table 4. Exports of dried egg* from European countries (tonnes)
Country2000200520072008200920102011
Albania 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
Austria 1,301 742 1,014 796 780 1,129 627
Belarus 524 37 87 16 0 12 318
Belgium 4,745 3,450 3,764 3,060 3,708 2,996 2,674
Bosnia/Herzegovina 0 0 0 1 8 6 0
Bulgaria 117 0 565 1,041 285 610 263
Croatia 73 74 140 82 91 97 99
Czech Republic 538 622 347 237 184 204 130
Denmark 0 6 0 0 3 0 0
Estonia 107 35 44 84 73 31 35
Finland 1 3 0 1 2 1 0
France 4,796 5,945 6,729 6,694 6,030 6,357 6,368
Germany 1,574 3,206 3,404 4,025 3,220 3,977 4,571
Greece 66 24 19 18 25 11 12
Hungary 0 2 0 31 48 62 59
Ireland 2 2 1 2 0 44 48
Italy 651 1,424 2,385 2,122 2,702 1,721 2,065
Latvia 42 32 27 18 128 159 151
Lithuania 20 469 164 187 71 124 132
Luxembourg 0 1 2 6 3 0 161
Moldova Rep. 54 0 0 36 0 0 0
Netherlands 3,497 4,825 6,457 7,186 7,578 6,965 7,100
Norway 211 197 0 0 78 74 47
Poland 120 202 535 793 1,130 1,236 1,390
Portugal 3 40 81 116 120 131 143
Romania 5 0 97 468 434 261 436
Russian Federation 209 41 170 13 22 6 1
Serbia - - 0 0 9 0 21
Slovakia 14 246 1 3 13 79 37
Slovenia 14 0 0 2 0 0 0
Spain 86 744 454 372 458 517 1,911
Sweden 359 487 493 606 356 884 863
Switzerland 5 3 5 0 26 3 4
Ukraine 0 0 36 561 1,114 1,113 1,706
United Kingdom 326 84 80 66 67 67 58
EUROPEAN UNION 18,459 22,665 26,803 28,016 27,509 27,663 29,333
EUROPE 19,460 22,944 27,101 28,643 28,766 28,896 31,430
WORLD 29,412 47,578 54,735 57,614 57,074 55,800 59,534
* The trade in albumin is not included
- no figure
Source: FAO

Regarding dried egg imports in 2011, Germany was easily the leading buyer, taking 7,500 tonnes followed by the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain these five representing almost two-thirds of the EU total.

Global Poultry Trends 5m Publishing
Figure 4. Global imports of dried egg by region ('000 tonnes)
Table 5. Imports of dried egg* into European countries (tonnes)
Country2000200520072008200920102011
Albania 0 0 8 29 26 18 0
Austria 1,428 1,572 1,917 1,871 1,930 2,081 1,398
Belarus 80 63 25 254 160 130 243
Belgium 3,951 1,080 734 686 711 623 663
Bosnia/Herzegovina 14 9 11 42 11 37 16
Bulgaria 377 352 108 131 146 197 238
Croatia 0 5 56 53 27 27 25
Czech Republic 451 398 596 552 607 775 1,047
Denmark 1,997 4,327 5,588 4,553 3,932 5,477 3,621
Estonia 130 136 187 215 158 155 178
Finland 34 114 114 106 126 125 138
France 735 1,476 1,902 1,894 2,005 2,221 1,835
Germany 2,405 8,235 6,441 4,525 5,348 6,536 7,517
Greece 316 432 615 501 459 478 338
Hungary 0 0 0 287 378 578 361
Iceland 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 161 399 287 260 360 517 460
Italy 800 462 799 696 1,252 1,367 878
Latvia 76 68 221 177 141 171 184
Lithuania 24 66 150 102 112 148 310
Luxembourg 32 21 57 40 69 11 146
Macedonia Rep. 11 217 113 283 295 304 321
Malta 4 1 5 2 6 8 8
Moldova Rep. 0 0 0 19 28 22 13
Netherlands 1,621 3,003 3,331 1,703 2,562 3,850 4,423
Norway 17 16 1 2 0 2 40
Poland 344 432 1,086 1,275 1,168 1,113 767
Portugal 326 450 561 488 540 623 550
Romania 2 151 486 1,104 1,898 648 948
Russian Federation 920 2,168 2,571 2,454 1,242 1,175 1,099
Serbia - - 79 121 139 129 186
Slovakia 637 792 746 442 420 460 186
Slovenia 637 153 156 135 134 137 119
Spain 839 2,569 1,822 1,562 1,706 2,682 3,266
Sweden 598 975 1,358 956 1,337 1,914 2,208
Switzerland 265 453 1,020 892 988 937 550
Ukraine 0 224 162 294 109 109 11
United Kingdom 3,255 5,066 9,426 8,094 6,328 6,518 5,267
EUROPEAN UNION 21,182 32,738 38,759 32,413 33,883 39,449 37,126
EUROPE 22,488 35,896 42,739 36,800 36,858 42,303 39,558
WORLD 34,244 53,613 60,850 55,672 53,671 59,408 59,732
* The trade in albumin is not included
- no figure
Source: FAO

Trade in Liquid Egg Products by European Countries

The international trade in liquid egg is dominated by Europe supplying some 87 per cent of global exports and, using the world export figure as the total volume traded, around 75 per cent of imports (Tables 6 and 7 and Figures 5 and 6). Here, EU counties accounted for more than 99 per cent of the Europe total. The world figure for exports and imports of any commodity seldom balance because of a number of reasons which have been explained in earlier regional reports.

In 2011, the Netherlands exported almost 130,000 tonnes of liquid egg or nearly half of the total from EU countries. Spain (40,000 tonnes), Belgium and Germany (both with 15,600 tonnes) and France (14,900 tonnes) were much smaller but nevertheless key sellers.

Global Poultry Trends 5m Publishing
Figure 5. Global exports of liquid egg by region ('000 tonnes)
Table 6. Exports of liquid egg from European countries (tonnes)
Country2000200520072008200920102011
Austria 82 520 573 1,558 1,446 1,621 2,272
Belarus - 73 0 4 0 0 21
Belgium 22,854 18,856 8,492 9,030 10,848 12,934 15,627
Bosnia/Herzegovina 0 0 0 48 81 178 85
Bulgaria 0 16 1 200 834 588 808
Croatia 76 0 0 4 8 4 7
Czech Republic 34 299 362 542 774 3,973 2,072
Denmark 4,606 5,536 5,062 5,131 6,938 6,322 6,295
Estonia 368 126 393 523 765 649 602
Finland 333 1,221 1,643 1,920 1,605 1,713 2,627
France 15,650 15,813 28,206 24,933 25,133 18,439 14,867
Germany 11,514 8,396 13,306 13,540 14,869 13,694 15,578
Greece 259 1,760 947 767 1,676 1,200 2,172
Hungary 40 0 0 182 156 69 187
Ireland 0 83 30 30 22 24 25
Italy 3,644 7,759 4,046 4,268 5,723 7,621 7,353
Latvia 0 6 485 642 690 1,694 3,305
Lithuania 228 107 11 0 11 12 51
Luxembourg 16 12 16 22 23 28 39
Macedonia Rep. 73 0 0 0 0 0 0
Netherlands 44,676 75,458 86,089 93,811 116,373 124,387 129,648
Norway 169 2 17 2 1 1 131
Poland 60 2,679 8,426 11,517 13,128 13,707 13,450
Portugal 3,204 2,931 7,607 5,927 8,060 6,510 9,785
Romania 28 0 464 1,000 1,031 2,311 1,625
Russian Federation 11 0 0 8 18 28 0
Serbia - - 12 8 8 0 0
Slovakia 5 0 0 0 2 2 17
Slovenia 0 73 88 43 79 98 93
Spain 1,756 9,685 16,401 23,157 20,896 15,204 40,171
Sweden 144 653 335 200 466 608 463
Switzerland 0 0 23 78 106 153 155
United Kingdom 3,202 3,338 3,676 6,336 5,613 4,555 5,291
EUROPEAN UNION 112,779 155,327 186,659 205,283 237,169 237,967 274,430
EUROPE 113,032 155,403 186,711 205,431 237,383 238,327 274,822
WORLD 144,190 194,078 217,255 235,998 266,442 272,639 313,984
- no figure
Source: FAO

Six countries dominated the import side of the business – Germany (purchasing 61,000 tonnes), France (28,000 tonnes), the UK (24,000 tonnes), Belgium (21,000 tonnes), Spain (16,000 tonnes) and the Netherlands (12,000 tonnes).

Table 7. Imports of liquid egg into European countries (tonnes)
Country2000200520072008200920102011
Albania 1 2 7 5 35 20 39
Austria 2,976 4,149 6,121 6,205 4,748 4,436 4,916
Belarus 6 25 0 0 0 0 0
Belgium 12,319 16,817 21,706 21,511 21,253 22,297 21,191
Bosnia/Herzegovina 27 2 2 6 12 26 6
Bulgaria 0 797 627 2,242 356 1,545 858
Croatia 8 312 322 395 353 517 457
Czech Republic 231 2,325 5,542 9,657 12,157 10,483 8,549
Denmark 3,592 8,531 11,711 11,255 14,445 13,058 9,921
Estonia 3 137 553 491 752 658 992
Finland 47 609 351 429 482 474 710
France 16,060 22,182 27,491 26,505 22,996 29,782 27,930
Germany 28,462 43,390 49,602 53,801 59,988 63,671 61,406
Greece 301 431 826 1,118 1,206 940 812
Hungary 0 524 391 0 1,049 1,334 1,529
Iceland 85 164 229 199 84 99 86
Ireland 717 502 962 1,461 1,678 2,382 3,119
Italy 9,157 3,499 1,465 1,592 2,250 2,063 4,130
Latvia 231 149 180 146 298 320 441
Lithuania 156 321 68 188 170 119 513
Luxembourg 477 418 957 1,124 958 1,273 1,336
Malta 66 138 146 130 139 127 221
Moldova Rep 0 0 0 50 21 0 0
Netherlands 2,336 6,418 6,087 7,039 11,036 13,711 11,675
Norway 79 68 1 40 41 60 198
Poland 258 1,019 2,618 2,836 2,680 6,416 9,476
Portugal 946 1,294 3,119 1,555 1,784 3,016 4,302
Romania 0 211 1,356 1,774 2,478 2,486 3,045
Russian Federation 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Serbia - - 0 116 215 110 177
Slovakia 32 179 1,019 1,608 1,473 1,519 1,721
Slovenia 32 434 312 275 531 609 615
Spain 2,620 8,609 8,335 8,119 12,872 13,913 16,385
Sweden 492 3,389 5,195 6,158 7,033 7,751 7,279
Switzerland 10,397 8,936 6,776 6,538 6,636 6,170 6,206
Ukraine 18 2 0 0 0 0 0
United Kingdom 2,583 14,270 22,125 25,216 29,004 25,720 24,274
EUROPEAN UNION 84,105 141,209 179,633 193,396 214,743 231,314 228,417
EUROPE 94,799 150,289 186,212 199,784 221,236 237,105 234,554
WORLD 124,335 189,368 215,287 230,369 249,486 270,486 271,809
- no figure
Source: FAO
Global Poultry Trends 5m Publishing
Figure 6. Global imports of liquid egg by region ('000 tonnes)

Further Reading

Go to our previous article in this series by clicking here.

April 2015

 

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