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The global meat market hit 297 million tons in 2011, an increase of .8% from 2010 numbers. But that's not as strong a rise as in 2010, when meat production rose 2.6%. Estimates for 2012 say meat production will reach 302 million tons by the end of the year, an increase of 1.7% from 2011.
Key factors contributing to the rise in the global meat industry include the increased per capita global consumption of meat, population growth and the increasing consumption in emerging markets such as Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.
Meat consumption is down slightly worldwide, from 93.7 pounds (42.5 kilograms) per person in 2010 to 93.3 pounds (42.3 kilograms). However, per capita meat consumption is up 15% overall since 1995.
Pork was the most popular meat in 2011, accounting for 37% of both meat production and consumption, at 109 million tons. This was followed closely by poultry meat, with 101 million tons produced. Yet pork production decreased 0.8% from 2010, whereas poultry meat production rose 3%, making it likely that poultry will become the most-produced meat in the next few years.
Pork constitutes the largest meat segment. However, rising hostility from few nations on consuming pork, due to H1N1 linkage and cultural issues, is projected to move the segment on a sluggish pace.
A breakdown of meat production by geographic region reveals the dramatic shift in centres of production from industrialised to developing countries over the last decade. In 2000, for example, North America led the world in beef production, at 13 million tons, while South America produced 12 million tons and Asia, 10 million tons.
By 2011, North America had lowered its beef output by 200,000 tons and was overtaken by both South America and Asia, which produced 15 million and 17 million tons, respectively.
For more information on the global meat market, see the latest research: Global Meat Market
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