Livestock and Meat Trends in the Gulf Cooperation Council

Trade summary

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, are home to 52.4 million people amongst the world richest in terms of per capita wealth. However, due to water shortage and lack of arable land, these countries need to import almost 90% of their food requirements. These conditions make the growth and outlook of the food sector a very important issue for the GCC countries. The region’s young Muslim population is growing in size at a rate of 3.3% per year, compared to a global average of 1.1%. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the two largest populations in the region, with the UAE hosting a larger professional expatriate populations of the two. The Saudia Arabia however, has highier per capita income than the reste of the GCC countries. The GCC countries are open to global food trends with some more price sensitive than others.. Domestic meat production is insufficient to meet the current requirements of the market demand. The GCC region imports of meat and meat products stood at US$5.0 billion in 2015 (US$3.8 billion as of October 2016). The GCC is forecasted to be one of the fastest growing regions in halal meat consumption, according to Euromonitor. The driving force behind this projected surge is a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanisation. Despite relatively small populations (with the exception of Saudi Arabia and the UAE), the GCC offers an opportunity for Canadian livestock and halal meat exports.

Gulf Cooperation Council trends

The 6 Gulf states that constitute the GCC are oil and gas producing, relatively stable, wealthy, and enjoy the highest standards of living in the Middle East, however consumer confidence mirror the oil market conditions. The GCC population is largely English-speaking, educated and the six countries have a large expatriate population which has a profound influence on the grocery selection in supermarkets, as well as the local food culture, in addition of being hungry for luxury goods and services. Per-capita income in the in the GCC averaged US$47,500 in 2015. This high per-capita income is driving demand for imported goods and foods. In fact, almost 90% of foods are imported due to the agricultural limitations of the region. Population growth and societal changes such as working women in addition to increasing income per capita and a booming tourism industry are drivers of changing food consumption in the GCC region. Euromonitor International indicates that the GCC is a fast growing market, with consumer spending on food and non alcoholic beverages reaching US$95.2 billion 2015. Increasing urbanization in the GCC countries, hectic lifestyles, growing popularity of large modern food retail formats and the presence of multinational food companies in the region, are the main factors in increasing the popularity of convenience foods among consumers. Moreover, the affluent local population has shifted its consumption patterns from a carbohydrate-based diet to protein-based diet.  This has increased the demand for meat and meat products and health and wellness products. In addition to that, there is a growing market opportunity in GCC’ states; for instance, the UAE will be hosting Expo 2020 in October 2020, in 4 years, and Qatar will be hosting the World Cup in November 2022 . These events represent tremendous market opportunities for the halal meat market in particular to the food service industry. In Qatar, the total volume growth of meat sold increased by 14% in 2015 over 2014, and this trend is likely to continue due to the strong economy, the increasing awareness of homemade meals and the tendency to eat outside of the home during weekends.

By the numbers

In addition to the domestic consumption, the GCC is now among the world’s top tourism destinations. The UAE is amongst the top 10 destinations and the most popular in the Arab World according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. During 2015, Dubai alone attracted over 10 million tourists, according to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, with a hotel occupancy rate of 85%.
GCC market sizes historic and forecast retail volume sales of beef and veal meat in ‘000 tonnes
Country 2010 2013 2015 % CAGR 2010-15 2016F 2017F 2019F 2020F %CAGR 2016-20
Source: Euromonitor 2016 Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) Forecast (F) Euromonitor data for modelled countries is created by pegging countries with a similar consumer culture and development level taking into account populations, consumer spending patterns and other macroeconomic factors.
Saudi Arabia 94.8 117.3 122.0 5.2 125.5 128.2 134.5 138.0 2.4
United Arab Emirates 37.5 43.6 51.1 6.4 54.8 59.1 69.9 75.6 8.4
Kuwait – modelled 33.8 42.1 48.6 7.5 52.7 57.1 67.7 73.3 8.6
Oman – modelled 14.3 19.3 22.8 9.7 23.9 24.4 25.2 25.7 1.9
Qatar – modelled 6.7 7.2 8.9 6.0 9.8 10.8 12.9 14.0 9.1
Bahrain – modelled 3.9 5.0 5.3 6.3 5.4 5.4 5.7 5.8 2.0
GCC market sizes historic and forecast retail volume sales of lamb, moutton and goat meat in ‘000 tonnes
Country 2010 2013 2015 % CAGR 2010-15 2016F 2017F 2019F 2020F %CAGR 2016-20
Source: Euromonitor 2016 Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) Forecast (F) Euromonitor data for modelled countries is created by pegging countries with a similar consumer culture and development level taking into account populations, consumer spending patterns and other macroeconomic factors.
Saudi Arabia 118.6 146.6 144.2 4.0 148.8 153.9 165.1 171.2 3.6
United Arab Emirates 68.5 75.0 82.8 3.9 87.5 93.5 108.2 116.3 7.4
Oman – modelled 25.8 30.0 37.2 7.6 39.1 40.5 42.8 44.0 3.0
Bahrain – modelled 7.0 7.8 8.6 4.3 8.8 9.0 9.6 9.9 3.1
Kuwait – modelled 2.5 3.4 3.8 8.3 4.0 4.3 5.0 5.4 7.6
Qatar – modelled 0.5 0.6 0.7 6.8 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.0 8.1
GCC market sizes historic and forecast retail volume sales of poultry in ‘000 tonnes
Country 2010 2013 2015 % CAGR 2010-15 2016F 2017F 2019F 2020F %CAGR 2016-20
Source: Euromonitor 2016 Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) Forecast (F) Euromonitor data for modelled countries is created by pegging countries with a similar consumer culture and development level taking into account populations, consumer spending patterns and other macroeconomic factors.
Saudi Arabia 1,006.4 1,092.8 1,127.0 2.3 1,154.6 1,184.9 1,259.0 1,301.1 3.0
United Arab Emirates 234.0 273.3 317.9 6.3 338.6 362.7 423.2 458.8 7.9
Kuwait – modelled 103.8 144.5 168.4 10.2 181.6 195.7 228.7 248.2 8.1
Oman – modelled 108.8 128.0 146.6 6.2 152.8 157.3 164.4 168.7 2.5
Bahrain – modelled 29.4 33.2 33.8 2.8 34.3 35.0 37.0 38.1 2.6
Qatar – modelled 20.5 24.8 30.9 8.6 33.9 36.9 43.5 47.3 8.7

Meat comsumption in the GCC countries in 000′ tonnes

Meat comsumption: Description of this image follows.
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Spending and consumption

Beef and veal meat comsumption in the GCC countries per capita in kilograms
Country 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016E
Source: Euromonitor, 2016 Estimate (E) Euromonitor data for modelled countries is created by pegging countries with a similar consumer culture and development level taking into account populations, consumer spending patterns and other macroeconomic factors.
Kuwait – modelled 10.2 10.2 10.2 10.1 10.8 11.5
United Arab Emirates 4.7 4.9 5.2 5.5 6.0 6.3
Oman – modelled 5.1 5.0 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.5
Bahrain – modelled 3.6 3.9 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.3
Qatar – modelled 4.0 3.9 3.6 3.5 3.8 4.0
Saudi Arabia 3.6 3.7 3.9 3.8 3.9 3.9
Lamb mouton and goat meat comsumption in the GCC countries per capita in kilograms
Country 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016E
Source: Euromonitor, 2016 Estimate (E) Euromonitor data for modelled countries is created by pegging countries with a similar consumer culture and development level taking into account populations, consumer spending patterns and other macroeconomic factors.
United Arab Emirates 8.5 8.7 8.9 9.3 9.6 10.1
Oman – modelled 8.8 8.2 8.3 8.9 9.0 9.1
Bahrain – modelled 6.2 6.4 6.4 6.9 6.9 7.0
Saudi Arabia 4.2 4.3 4.9 4.5 4.6 4.6
Kuwait – modelled 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.9
Qatar – modelled 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
Kuwait is the biggest consumer of beaf and veal meat in GCC countries with over 11.5 kilograms (kg) per person, while the UAE is the biggest consumer of lamb, mouton and goat meat with 10.1kg per person followed by Oman with 9.1kg.
Poultry comsumption in the GCC countries per capita in kilograms
Country 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016E
Source: Euromonitor, 2016 Estimate (E) Euromonitor data for modelled countries is created by pegging countries with a similar consumer culture and development level taking into account populations, consumer spending patterns and other macroeconomic factors.
Kuwait – modelled 32.5 33.9 34.9 35.1 37.6 39.6
United Arab Emirates 29.3 30.7 32.5 34.6 37.0 39.0
Saudi Arabia 36.0 36.2 36.2 35.8 35.7 35.9
Oman – modelled 37.1 34.8 35.2 35.3 35.3 35.4
Bahrain – modelled 26.1 27.0 27.4 27.4 27.4 27.5
Qatar – modelled 12.9 12.9 12.4 12.2 13.1 13.8
Population increase, growing tourism and transit passengers passing through GCC countries and active Hotel, Restaurants, and Institution (HRI) sectors contribute positively to increasing poultry consumption.

Meat imports trends

Meat imports by the GCC countries in US$ million

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Description

Top foreign suppliers of meat and meat products to the GCC

GCC countries largely rely on imports of meat to meet most of their food requirements. The GCC countries imported over US$5.0 billion worth of meat and meat products in 2015. All major food-producing countries are active in this highly competitive market. Brazil, Australia, India, the United States and France are major players.
Top countries supplying meat products to the GCC in (US$)
Rank Partner country 2015 2016
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2016 Note: 2016 is partial year (October 2016) Harmonized System (HS) Not applicable (N/A)
N/A Total imports (HS: 0201, 0202, 0204, 0207) 5,046,541,282 3,788,585,471
1 Brazil 2,434,363,893 2,073,639,091
2 Australia 716,842,325 477,682,260
3 India 662,615,468 430,128,926
4 United States 213,671,707 177,267,455
5 France 302,275,568 171,423,214
6 New Zealand 181,083,075 109,956,979
7 South Africa 34,205,531 30,977,056
8 Argentina 70,298,471 27,885,088
9 Ethiopia 94,008,890 22,085,442
10 Turkey 20,194,906 20,729,089
11 Paraguay 45,999,840 17,425,468
12 Canada 19,551,050 16,973,342
The meat segment is comprised of red meat and poultry meat. Meat is an important part of the diet in the GCC region. Saudi and Kuwait are also large producers of meat in the region. Canada has made it into the 12th top suppliers to the GCC in 2015. Canada’s share represent’s 0.4% of region total meat imports. The top GCC destination for Canadian meat in 2015 was Saudi Arabia with exports of US$17.3 million in 2015 (US$17.3 million as of October 2016), followed by the UAE with US$ 2.2 million in 2015 (US$2.3 million/October 2016),these exports were mostly made up of frozen boneless beef products. While still at a very small levels, Canada started exporting some fresh/chilled beef cuts and some bovine offal products. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the major importers accounting for nearly 75% of meat imports in the region.
GCC historic value imports of meat products in $US million
HS Code Description 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016*
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2016 Harmonized System (HS) Note: 2016 is partial year (October 2016) Not applicable (N/A)
N/A Total Import (HS: 0201, 0202, 0204, 0207) 4,201.41 4,338.64 4,777.15 4,773.47 5,046.54 3,788.59
0207 Frozen/fresh/chilled poultry 2,747.48 2,764.74 3,143.60 2,788.54 3,026.89 2,374.82
0202 Frozen beef 731.12 800.62 777.62 820.75 872.10 583.78
0204 Frozen/fresh meat of sheep or goat 517.25 527.00 574.54 825.73 780.44 529.34
0201 Fresh/chilled beef 205.55 246.28 281.39 338.45 367.10 300.64
GCC historic value imports of meat products by country in $US million
Country 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2016 Harmonized System (HS) Note: 2016 is partial year (October 2016)
Total Import (HS: 0201, 0202, 0204, 0207) 4,201.41 4,338.64 4,777.15 4,773.47 5,046.54 3,788.59
Saudi Arabia 2,091.96 2,102.13 2,344.47 2,193.12 2,359.01 1,720.64
United Arab Emirates 1,021.94 1,142.81 1,242.42 1,356.07 1,375.08 1,090.22
Kuwait 480.24 447.25 455.84 447.08 506.27 320.19
Qatar 253.57 271.73 282.65 335.37 366.29 300.81
Oman 216.45 240.16 262.50 254.80 266.52 215.07
Bahrain 137.25 134.56 189.28 187.03 173.36 141.65

Competitive landscape

The GCC region is a significant poultry meat market, a destination for over 13 percent of world exports in 2015 (US$3.02 billion). Over half of the shipments are sent to Saudi Arabia while nearly a quarter goes to the UAE. Demand for poultry meat imports is strong for two main reasons: low domestic production, and re-exports.
Top Countries supplying meat products to the GCC and their top three products ($US)
Country Product 2015 2016
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2016 Note: 2016 – partial year ( October 2016)
Brazil Poultry meat 2,355,371,025 1,899,940,616
Brazil Frozen beef 46,749,335 98,902,067
Brazil Fresh/chilled beef 32,243,533 74,796,408
Australia Meat of sheep and goats 426,335,167 327,193,443
Australia Fresh/chilled beef 150,901,117 86,936,238
Australia Frozen beef 139,212,824 63,247,587
India Frozen beef 468,601,053 289,376,700
India Meat of sheep and goats 127,770,647 98,335,298
India Fresh/chilled beef 56,977,739 38,665,653
United States Poultry meat 91,663,589 91,397,200
United States Frozen beef 82,475,828 64,103,790
United States Fresh/chilled beef 39,333,436 21,570,395
France Poultry 301,728,047 170,958,383
France Frozen beef 287,574 314,663
France Fresh/chilled beef 186,938 98,912
New Zealand Meat of sheep and goats 105,774,033 54,334,429
New Zealand Fresh/chilled beef 49,116,120 42,417,894
New Zealand Frozen beef 24,110,192 10,776,333
Saudi Arabia Poultry meat 122,589,052 103,722,184
Saudi Arabia Frozen beef 9,927,865 1,304,680
Saudi Arabia Meat of sheep and goats 794,185 545,126
South Africa Fresh/chilled beef 22,401,043 21,756,886
South Africa Frozen beef 11,749,612 8,844,585
South Africa Meat of sheep and goats 657 346,600
Argentina Poultry meat 60,219,466 25,525,297
Argentina Fresh/chilled beef 1,992,329 1,503,793
Argentina Frozen beef 7,478,346 529,916
Ethiopia Meat of sheep and goats 93,814,493 22,077,314
Ethiopia Frozen beef 148,376 7,947
Ethiopia Fresh/chilled beef 45,899 181
Canada (12) Frozen beef 14,961,976 11,799,085
Canada (12) Fresh/chilled beef 4,314,874 4,906,376
Canada (12) Meat of sheep and goats 274,200 212,694

Livestock trends

Governments across the Gulf region have been drafting and implementing long-term strategic plans to improve food security, while making optimum use of the available resources. In addition, GCC countries are focused on reducing food dependency and as such, they have made investments to enhance domestic livestock farming and aquaculture. In addition, the active tourism sector, has stimulated the notable improvements in infrastructure (including cold chains) which facilitates trade of perishable goods, consequently the food consumption pattern is steadily shifting from carbohydrate-based staple foods (such as cereals) to protein-rich diets such as meat and dairy products. This combined with growth in population and visitors alike are boosting the demand for livestock products. The most current Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) data, shows that bovine, sheep and goat and poultry production numbers are increasing year over year by an average of 9% per year .
GCC livestock production in 2014
Product Country Head Slaughtered including imports
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2016
Poultry Bahrain 550,000 4,307,000
Poultry Kuwait 44,203,000 28,100,000
Poultry Oman 4,600,000 7,723,000
Poultry Qatar 8,600,000 7,358,000
Poultry Saudi Arabia 183,000,000 618,130,000
Poultry United Arab Emirates 22,500,000 36,469,000
Goats Bahrain 18,500 12,165
Goats Kuwait 153,391 44,850
Goats Oman 2,100,000 773,998
Goats Qatar 267,202 171,497
Goats Saudi Arabia 3,450,000 2,014,507
Goats United Arab Emirates 1,920,000 2,650,480
Sheep Bahrain 40,000 963,887
Sheep Kuwait 628,041 2,292,120
Sheep Oman 560,000 996,352
Sheep Qatar 545,440 571,859
Sheep Saudi Arabia 11,650,000 5,034,904
Sheep United Arab Emirates 2,150,000 390,819
Beef cattle Bahrain 10,500 8,646
Beef cattle Kuwait 27,310 17,875
Beef cattle Oman 365,000 182,035
Beef cattle Qatar 8,491 4,194
Beef cattle Saudi Arabia 354,276 270,886
Beef cattle United Arab Emirates 87,000 60,554
Saudi Arabia by far the largest producer of poultry the region. Its production covers about 70% of poutry flock in the GCC. On the other hand, Oman and Saudi Arabia host over 80% of the cattle.
Top live animal suppliers to the GCC by value in US$, 2015-2016
Rank Country 2015 2016
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2016 Note: 2016 – partial year ( October 2016) Not applicable (N/A)
N/A Total import 690,982,220 477,136,362
1 Iran (Islamic Republic of) 237,492,372 182,249,807
2 Jordan 201,369,774 121,830,700
3 Australia 150,804,151 103,962,676
4 India 83,959 25,803,819
5 United Kingdom 8,164,578 9,855,108
6 Netherlands 11,719,642 6,769,392
7 Georgia 4,919,032 6,437,227
8 Germany 6,202,608 2,763,876
9 South Africa 1,178,206 2,669,433
10 United States 4,324,869 2,403,088

Conclusion

The GCC has limited local agricultural production, a growing demand for imported food products, and a strong re-export market. Canadian agri-food products are looked upon as high-quality, with a distinctive North American image. The GCC countries demand for halal meat in particular, continues to rise both in quantity and quality, and with local meat supply and herd expension, are constrained by arid land, feed and water shortages, the GCC will continue to need to import a significant proportion of the meat it consumes.

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