Consumption growth in Asia to fuel meat consumption
July 30, 2020
· Growth in middle class income across Asia, particularly Vietnam and Indonesia, will fuel meat consumption over the next decade
· African Swine Fever induced pork production shortfall will supplement import demand and provide support to export prices in the short-term
· There is growing interest in high quality protein sources among affluent consumers
Last month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released their collaborative global agricultural outlook. This outlook contains key insights and forecasts across production, consumption and trade, providing an indication of the global trading environment for Australian red meat in the next decade.
A number of major uncertainties continue to face world agricultural markets such as the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), the fallout from COVID-19, shifting consumer diets and climatic events. While these influences will certainly impact supply and demand, global demand for beef will continue to be underpinned by a number of key economic fundamentals such as population growth and a rising number of middle-class income households.
Household income growth remains a major growth factor driving increasing global meat consumption, which is projected to grow at an average rate of 1.2% annually over the next ten years. Trends and consumption profiles will continue to influence meat consumption levels which typically depend on the stage of economic development for the country in question. For instance, many high income countries are reaching saturation levels in terms of per capita meat consumption, with fluctuating consumer preferences leading to a diversification of protein sources. Quality is a key factor which will become increasingly important for consumers in high income countries, as consumers seek flavour and experience over volume.
Meanwhile, income growth in developing countries is expected to drive further demand for meat, as increasing disposable incomes opens up a range of dining opportunities for consumers. This growth means that beef consumption across Asia is expected to grow by 2.7 million tonnes carcase weight equivalent (cwe) over the next ten years – the largest gain across any global region. Within Asia, Vietnam and Indonesia stand out as key import markets, with beef import volumes predicted to grow 24% and 34% respectively. China remains a huge market for beef, however, as the pork industry recovers from ASF, this will likely limit any further growth for meat imports as locally sourced meat becomes more readily available later in the decade.
Global meat prices were 6% higher on average higher in 2019 relative to 2018. Beef export prices have been buoyed by strong ASF-fuelled demand, while globally limited supplies of sheepmeat continue to support lamb and mutton prices. During the next few years, prices will be supported by ongoing supply constraints within major Asian meat-producing nations.
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