ITALY/FRANCE, Rome/Paris. Meat production will increase until 2030, especially in Asia and Africa. Among animal species, poultry is the big winner.
Increases in global meat production and consumption will be lower from 2021 to 2030 than in the previous decade. This forecast is found in the Global Agricultural Market Development Report jointly published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). According to the report, meat production is expected to increase by 43.8 mill. t, or 13.3%, to 373.8 mill. t by 2030, based on the 2018-2020 baseline, while consumption is expected to increase by 13.5% to 371.7 mill. t. Compared to the previous decade, the annual growth rate in production would slow from 1.42 to 1.16%, and in consumption from 1.43 to 1.17%.
According to the forecast, Asia will make the largest contribution to rising global meat production, with an increase of 26.2 mill., or 19.3%, to 162.1 mill. t. China will be responsible for this, with an increase of 19.7% to almost 95 mill. t, as not only pig stocks but also poultry production is expected to increase significantly there following the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF). Higher meat volumes are also expected for the United States and Brazil.
The largest relative increase is expected to occur in Africa, at 25.6% to 22.9 mill. t. About 84% of the additional meat is projected to be produced in developing countries by 2030, although this includes China. The European Union is the only region expected to see a decrease in meat production, down 2.5% to 43.2 mill. t.
Looking at the individual types of meat, the FAO and OECD expect poultry to show the strongest growth by 2030, with production expected to increase by 17.5% to 153.5 mill. t. White meat has a favorable feed conversion ratio, is inexpensive and easy to prepare. It is therefore increasingly in demand worldwide, even if consumption growth is expected to slow by 2030 compared to the previous decade. For pork, production is expected to increase by 12.7% to 127.3 mill in this decade, with China alone accounting for more than 70% of the increase due to the need to catch up after ASF. In contrast, global production of beef is forecast to increase by only a below-average 5.8% overall to 74.1 mill. t by 2030.
Higher livestock numbers will increase global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, according to the FAO and OECD, but not as much as the 13% projected for meat production. Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase by "only" 5% due to productivity advances in livestock production, a shift in production from beef to less-polluting poultry, and national initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, new technologies to reduce methane emissions, such as feed additives or seaweed, which are not currently widely used, could further reduce emissions per animal in the future, he said. The strongest growth in meat-related greenhouse gas emissions is expected in Africa and Asia, according to the two organizations.