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Brazil Now Second in Turkey League

by 5m Editor
24 March 2010, at 12:00am

Brazil is now the country producing the second largest volume of turkey meat – with the US still way out in front – but output from many countries has fallen, writes Terry Evans for ThePoultrySite.

Currently the most exciting country with regard to the growth in turkey meat production is Brazil, where output this year is set to come close to half a million tonnes.

However, outside of South America, the picture is at best one of little growth but sadly, for many countries, one of contraction.

Globally, turkey meat production has exhibited slow growth so far in this decade, output having risen by less that half a million tonnes, or little more than one per cent a year, between 2000 and 2008.

Not infrequently, the published data varies, often quite markedly, depending on the source. While the figures in the accompanying table are taken from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) it should be noted that those for the USA, North Central America and the world totals have been amended, in line with data released by the USDA, which, roughly speaking, put the annual totals half a million tonnes or so less than those quoted by the FAO.

It would appear that since 2004, the FAO figures for the US equate with the liveweight production rather than the eviscerated weights leading to a large overstatement of the USA, North Central America and global totals. This means that the world total in 2008 was close to 5.6 million tonnes (mt) and not the 6.1mt indicated by the FAO.

World turkey meat production ('000 tonnes)
Region/country 2000 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
AFRICA 72.4 83.8 93.2 98.5 115.3 128.0
- Morocco 17.0 17.5 18.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
- Tunisia 25.8 25.0 31.5 27.2 38.6 38.6
N & C AMERICA* 2595.5 2608.6 2639.0 2729.7 2854.6 3037.7
- USA 2419.0 2441.0 2464.0 2543.0 2664.0 2833.9
Asia 167.1 145.7 142.7 143.4 142.2 126.2
- Israel 137.4 115.0 113.4 106.0 104.0 97.0
S AMERICA 235.5 339.8 398.8 417.2 527.1 570.1
- Brazil 137.0 220.0 275.0 290.0 395.0 438.0
- Chile 62.0 82.3 87.0 90.4 94.7 94.7
OCEANIA 26.4 13.9 12.8 23.1 37.8 37.8
- Australia 25.2 12.6 11.6 21.7 36.4 36.4
EUROPE 1970.0 1964.6 1850.2 1735.9 1654.7 1659.5
- Germany 295.5 390.7 384.8 376.0 376.0 436.3
- France 738.0 624.4 546.1 505.4 455.2 427.3
- Italy 327.0 279.4 299.8 273.8 279.5 310.6
- UK 255.0 227.9 206.0 183.8 151.3 135.4
WORLD 5066.9 5156.4 5136.7 5147.8 5331.1 5559.3
* includes the Caribbean
Source: FAO

A major reason why world growth has been so slow is that only a dozen or so countries produce significant quantities of turkey meat and in several of these output has declined or stagnated since 2000.

There are two major regions of production: North & Central America and Europe.

Output in North & Central America expanded by some two per cent per year between 2000 and 2008 to reach 3.04 million tonnes, which represented almost 55 per cent of global production. However, more than 93 per cent of this regional total was produced in the USA.

In 2009, US production eased back a little but, although some recovery is anticipated this year, the annual total of around 2.6 million tonnes is likely to fall short of the 2008 peak of some 2.8mt.

Europe is the other major turkey-producing region but this area has witnessed an average decline of around two per cent per year as output contracted from almost 2.0mt to less than 1.7mt in 2008, which represented around one-third of the world total. Since then, production has remained fairly static.

Within this region, back in 2000, France was easily the biggest producer however, since then, this industry has contracted dramatically by some 40 per cent. A similar picture is seen in the UK. Also, production in Italy has failed to match the 2000 level. In contrast, the industry in Germany has expanded by nearly 50 per cent to 2008.

Undoubtedly the bright spot for turkey production in the current decade has been South America where Brazil and to a lesser extent, Chile, have recording significant positive growth.

Over the review period, production in Brazil expanded from around 137,000 tonnes (t) to some 438,000t while, in the current year, output could well come close to 500,000t, making this country the second largest turkey producer in the world behind the USA.

In that same region, the industry in Chile has also blossomed, output having escalated from just 62,000t in 2000 to a forecast of more than 100,000t this year.

March 2010