According to the USDA, population growth and rising incomes will likely result in an increase in world food demand during the next decade, particularly in developing economies. For many of these countries, increases in demand will outpace domestic production and will require an increase in imports. Specifically, larger populations, rising incomes, and an expanding middle class in developing countries will result in added consumption of protein-rich foods as consumers substitute higher quality foods for staples. Increased consumption of livestock products in developing countries will result in increased demand, not only of livestock and livestock products, but in the commodities used as feed.
World population growth is projected to average about 1.0 percent per year over the next decade; lower than the average annual rate of 1.2 percent from the last decade. Much of this growth will be in developing countries. As a result, by 2022, 82 percent of the world will live in developing countries, up from 80 percent in 2010. In 2012, 37 percent of the world’s population lived in China and India.
In developing countries, average annual economic growth is projected at 5.6 percent from 2012 to 2022, including China at 7.8 and India at 7.5. Both of these countries are projected to realize a doubling of real per capita income during the next decade. In developing countries, larger populations and higher incomes will result in increased consumption of beef, pork, dairy, and poultry as low- and middle-income consumers increasingly find protein-rich food items more affordable.
Future increases in food imports will come mainly from developing economies. These countries are expected to be responsible for 92 percent of the increase in world meat, grain, and oilseed imports. Africa and the Middle East will be responsible for about 50 percent of the world’s increase in poultry and beef imports, 20 percent of grain, and 25 percent of soybean oil. As Mexico continues to develop, increases in poultry and red meat consumption should continue to fuel an expansion of its livestock industry and result in import growth of livestock products. Mexico is projected to increase imports of beef, pork, and poultry by 67, 32, and 50 percent respectively by 2022. During the next decade, Mexico will account for approximately 25 percent of the world’s growth of pork and poultry imports.
World coarse grain trade is expected to increase 27 percent during the decade, with most of this increase accounted for by corn (becoming 80 percent of coarse grain trade in 2022). Feed-deficit counties in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia with expanding livestock industries will be largely responsible. China’s imports are projected to account for about 40 percent of the growth of world corn trade. The U.S. will continue to realize an increase in tons of corn exported and its share of the total world export market is projected to increase.