Global meat production & consumption slowing

The annual State of the World report from Worldwatch Institute notes the drought in China, Russia, the Horn of Africa and the southern United States in 2011 and the resulting higher feed prices caused a slowdown in growth of global meat production and a reduction in meat consumption. While global per capita meat consumption has been steadily increasing since 1995, it slipped from 42.5 kilograms per person in 2010 to 42.3 kilograms in 2011.

With 109 million metric tons consumed, pork was the most popular meat in 2011 making up 37 percent of the global production and consumption. Poultry was right behind with 101 million tons, narrowing the gap by 3 million tons. The report says that continues a trend which will likely see global poultry production and consumption surpass pork “in the next few years.” The report says 72 percent of the world’s poultry production, 43 percent of egg production and 55 percent of pork production is in concentrated animal feeding operations.

The analysis cites USDA estimates that the drought of 2012 will push beef, pork and poultry prices higher, further dampening consumption.

We are also seeing a geographical shift in meat production. In 2000, North America led the world in beef production with 13 million tons; South America produced 12 million and Asia 10 million tons. By 2011, North America slipped to 12.2 million tons while South America produced 15 million tons and Asia produced 17 million.

Based in Washington D.C., Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization which works on energy, resource and environmental issues.

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