Sector Trends Analysis - Meat trends in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

April 2018

Executive summary

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consists of six countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a population of 53.1 million. As of January 2011, it was forecast that the world’s Muslim population was expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years, rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030, according to the Pew Research Center.

The GCC is forecast to be one of the fastest growing regions in halal meat consumption due to its population growth, rising incomes, tourism, urbanization and limited local agricultural production.

The GCC region’s imports of meat and meat products reached US$4.4 billion in 2016 as insufficient domestic meat production could hardly meet the market demand. Frozen/fresh/chilled poultry was the biggest GCC’s meat import: US$26.7 billion, representing 60% of the total meat imports in 2016. By default, the meat exported to the GCC must be halal. Exporters should be aware of the halal regulations and the process for securing certification that will be recognized in the particular GCC market.

Canada was the twelfth-largest meat supplier to the GCC in 2016 at a value of US$21 million, representing 0.5% share of the GCC’s total meat imports. Canada’s compound annual growth rate was 63% from 2012 to 2016, the second-highest increase after South Africa and Jordan, both with the same compound annual growth rate of 150%.

In addition, there is a growing market opportunity in the GCC, with the UAE hosting Expo 2020 in October 2020, and Qatar hosting the World Cup in November 2022. These events provide tremendous market opportunities for the meat consumption particularly in the food service industry.

Contents

Gulf Cooperation Council trends

The six Gulf states that constitute the GCC produce oil and gas, have the highest standards of living in the Middle East and are relatively stable and wealthy. Traditional independent retailers selling halal meat remain important shopping destinations in developing markets with low proliferation of modern retail formats, such as supermarkets, convenience stores and discounters. Anyone interested in exporting halal products to the GCC should have an understanding of the halal certificates required and that they need to work with an accredited halal certification body. For example, for the UAE, any product labelled halal needs to be accompanied with a halal certificate from an accredited halal certification body. The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology is the authority in the UAE responsible for overseeing halal. Anyone interested in exporting halal products to the GCC should have an understanding of the halal certificates required and that they need to work with an accredited halal certification body. For example, for the UAE, any product labelled halal needs to be accompanied with a halal certificate from an accredited halal certification body. The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology is the authority in the UAE responsible for overseeing halal.

The average gross income in the GCC was US$18,955 in 2016, higher than the average gross income in the world (US$13,164). This high income has created a high demand for imported goods and foods. In fact, almost 90% of foods are imported due to the agricultural limitations of the region.

Euromonitor International indicates that the GCC is a fast growing market, with consumer spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages reaching US$100 billion in 2016.

Increasing urbanization in the GCC countries, diversified 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, meat products and health and wellness products.

In addition to the domestic consumption, the GCC is now among the world’s top tourism destinations. The United Arab Emirates is amongst the top ten destinations and the most popular in the Arab World according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) released its annual visitor figures showing that Dubai attracted 14.9 million overnight visitors in 2016, recording a 5% increase over 2015, and a compound annual growth rate of 8% from 2012 to 2016.

Sales of meat in the GCC countries

GCC countries’ historical total volume sales* of meat** in thousands of tonnes, 2012 to 2016
Countries 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Saudi Arabia 1,334.4 1,389.0 1,395.4 1,426.8 1,463.3
United Arab Emirates 369.4 392.4 420.2 452.3 481.4
Kuwait – modelled*** 208.0 224.5 235.3 260.5 282.0
Oman - modelled 166.9 185.6 203.7 216.2 225.5
Bahrain - modelled 48.0 49.1 50.2 50.8 51.6
Qatar - modelled 32.0 33.4 36.4 41.5 46.9
Total 2,158.7 2,274.0 2,341.2 2,448.1 2,550.7
  • Source: Euromonitor 2017
  • * encompasses retail, foodservice, and institutional sales (for example, school/hospital) as defined by Euronomitor
  • ** beef and veal, lamb, mutton and goat, poultry and other halal meat
  • *** 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.

The total volume sales of meat (beef and veal, lamb, mutton and goat, poultry and other halal meat) in the GCC increased to 2.55 million tonnes in 2016 from 2.15 million tonnes in 2012. Saudi Arabia had the highest total volume sales of meat: 1.46 million tonnes in 2016, representing 70.7% of the total volume sales in the GCC. This is mainly due to its large population (31.7 million), representing 60% of the total GCC population (53.1 million).

GCC countries’ forecast total volume sales of meat in thousands of tonnes, 2017 to 2021
Countries 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Saudi Arabia 1,500.4 1,531.2 1,558.7 1,582.0 1,602.4
United Arab Emirates 515.8 555.7 602.0 651.4 692.1
Kuwait 305.6 331.3 361.3 392.2 418.6
Oman 231.7 236.2 240.5 245.9 237.8
Qatar 51.9 57.1 62.8 68.9 74.4
Bahrain 52.7 54.0 55.5 57.1 55.5
  • Source: Euromonitor 2017
  • CAGR= Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • E- Estimate
  • F- Forecast

Saudi Arabia is expected to continue to take the lead in the forecast total volume sale from 2017 to 2021, followed by the United Arab Emirates. All GCC countries are expected to have steady increase in the next five years. This presents a great opportunity for Canadian meat suppliers.

The GCC’s historical and forecast total volume sales of poultry in thousands of tonnes
Countries 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 CAGR* 2012-16 2017E 2018F 2019F 2020F 2021F CAGR 2017-21
Saudi Arabia 1,067 1,093 1,105 1,127 1,155 2% 1,184 1,208 1,229 1,246 1,261 2%
United Arab Emirates 256 273 294 318 339 7% 363 391 423 459 488 8%
Kuwait 132 145 152 168 182 8% 196 212 229 248 264 8%
Oman 115 128 139 147 153 7% 157 160 163 167 161 1%
Qatar 24 25 27 31 35 10% 39 42 46 51 55 9%
Bahrain 33 33 34 34 34 1% 35 36 37 38 37 1%
Total 1,626 1,697 1,751 1,825 1,898 4% 1,974 2,049 2,128 2,209 2,264 3%
  • Source: Euromonitor 2017
  • CAGR= Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • E- Estimate
  • F- Forecast

Among the top three meat products sold in the GCC, poultry is ranked the first based on both historical and forecast sales. Saudi Arabia’s total volume sales of poultry reached 1.2 million tonnes in 2016, representing 62% of the total poultry sales in the region: 1.9 million tonnes. Qatar had the highest compound annual growth rate of 10% from 2012 to 2016 and is predicted to have the highest compound annual growth rate of 9% from 2017 to 2021 in the total volume sales of poultry.

The GCC’s historical and forecast total volume sales of beef and veal meat in thousands of tonnes
Countries 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 CAGR* 2012-16 2017E 2018F 2019F 2020F 2021F CAGR 2017-21
Saudi Arabia 110.4 117.3 117.7 122.0 125.8 3% 129.3 132.5 135.5 138.4 141.0 2%
United Arab Emirates 40.8 43.6 47.1 51.1 54.8 8% 59.1 64.2 69.9 75.6 80.6 8%
Kuwait 40.0 42.1 43.7 48.6 52.8 7% 57.4 62.4 67.9 73.3 78.2 8%
Oman 16.7 19.3 21.2 22.8 23.9 9% 24.4 24.7 25.0 25.4 25.8 1%
Qatar 7.1 7.2 7.8 8.9 10.1 9% 11.3 12.5 13.7 15.0 16.2 9%
Bahrain 4.7 5.0 5.1 5.3 5.4 4% 5.4 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 2%
  • CAGR= Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • E - Estimate
  • F- Forecast

Saudi Arabia had the highest total volume sales of beef and veal meat in 2016: 125 thousand tonnes, representing 46% of the total in the GCC and it is expected to lead the sales in the future. Qatar and Oman enjoyed the same 9% compound annual growth rate from 2012 to 2016, and Qatar is forecast to have the highest compound annual growth rate of 9% among all GCC countries from 2017 to 2021.

The GCC’s market sizes historic and forecast total volume sales of lamb, mutton and goat meat in thousands of tonnes
Countries 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 CAGR* 2012-16 2017E 2018F 2019F 2020F 2021F CAGR 2017-21
Saudi Arabia 125.6 146.6 139.8 144.2 148.1 4% 151.6 154.7 157.4 160.0 162.3 2%
United Arab Emirates 72.4 75.0 78.7 82.8 87.5 5% 93.5 100.4 108.2 116.3 123.1 7%
Kuwait 35.4 37.8 39.4 43.4 47.1 7% 51.7 56.8 64.0 70.5 76.6 10%
Oman 27.3 30.0 34.8 37.2 39.0 9% 40.4 41.4 42.4 43.5 41.0 0%
Bahrain 7.7 7.8 8.4 8.6 8.8 3% 9.0 9.3 9.6 9.9 9.4 1%
Qatar 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.8 7% 0.9 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 7%
  • CAGR= Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • E - Estimate
  • F- Forecast

Saudi Arabia had the largest total volume sales of the lamb, mutton and goat meat in 2016: 148.1 thousand tonnes, accounting for 45% of the total volume sales in the region. Oman had the highest compound annual growth rate of 9% from 2012 to 2016. Kuwait is forecast to have the highest compound annual growth rate of 10% from 2017 to 2021.

Spending and consumption

Poultry consumption in the GCC countries per capita in kilogram, 2012 to 2017
Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Kuwait 35.8 37.8 38.4 41.2 43.3 45.8
United Arab Emirates 30.7 32.8 34.5 36.3 37.8 39.8
Saudi Arabia 36.7 36.5 35.9 35.7 35.8 36.0
Oman 33.3 34.5 35.0 34.9 34.5 33.8
Bahrain 26.9 26.5 25.5 24.7 24.1 23.9
Qatar 12.9 12.4 12.2 12.7 13.4 14.1
  • Source: Euromonitor 2017
  • E=Estimate

The top two countries consuming poultry per capita were Kuwait with 43.3 Kg and the United Arab Emirates with 37.8 Kg in 2016.

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.

Beef and veal meat consumption in the GCC countries per capita in kilogram, 2012 to 2017
Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Kuwait 10.8 11.0 11.0 11.9 12.6 13.4
United Arab 4.9 5.2 5.5 5.8 6.1 6.5
Oman 4.8 5.2 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.3
Qatar 3.9 3.6 3.5 3.7 3.9 4.1
Saudi Arabia 3.8 3.9 3.8 3.9 3.9 3.9
Bahrain 3.9 4.0 3.9 3.8 3.8 3.7
  • Source: Euromonitor 2017
  • E=Estimate

Kuwait was the biggest consumer of beef and veal meat in GCC countries with 12.6 Kg per person in 2016.

Lamb, mutton and goat meat consumption in the GCC countries per capita in kilogram 2012 to 2017
Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Kuwait 9.6 9.9 9.9 10.6 11.2 12.0
United Arab Emirates 8.7 9.0 9.2 9.5 9.8 10.3
Oman 7.9 8.1 8.8 8.9 8.8 8.7
Bahrain 6.4 6.2 6.4 6.3 6.2 6.2
Saudi Arabia 4.3 4.9 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.6
Qatar 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
  • Source: Euromonitor 2017
  • E=Estimate

Kuwait was also the biggest consumer of lamb, mutton and goat meat with 11.2 Kg per person followed by the United Arab Emirates with 9.8Kg in 2016.

Top foreign suppliers of meat and meat products to the GCC

The total exporting value of meat and meat products to the GCC countries reached US$4,438 million in 2016. Brazil, Australia, India, the U.S and France are major players. Although Canada was the twelfth largest meat supplier to the GCC in 2016, its compound annual growth rate was 63% from 2012 to 2016, the second highest increase after South Africa and Jordan, both with a compound annual growth rate of 150%. Canada’s share represents 0.5% of the region’s total meat imports in 2016.

Top countries exporting meat products to the GCC in US$ million, 2012 to 2016
Rank Countries 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 CAGR* 2012-16
Total exports 4,408 4,848 4,773 5,046 4,438 0%
1 Brazil 2,350 2,514 2,245 2,434 2,273 -1%
2 Australia 453 614 760 717 584 7%
3 India 520 612 667 663 518 0%
4 United States 266 278 276 214 215 -5%
5 France 342 362 280 302 207 -12%
6 New Zealand 151 151 178 181 126 -4%
7 Ethiopia 70 70 80 94 93 7%
8 South Africa 1 7 20 34 39 150%
9 Argentina 42 27 36 70 31 -7%
10 Jordan 1 1 1 12 26 150%
11 Turkey 6 10 15 20 24 44%
12 Canada 3 15 8 20 21 63%
  • Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2017
  • * CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • ** HS: 0201, 0202, 0204, 0207

Frozen/fresh/chilled poultry was the biggest GCC’s import: US$2,671.9 million, representing 60% of the total meat imports in 2016. Frozen beef had the highest compound annual growth rate of 11% from 2012 to 2016 as seen from the table below.

The GCC’s historical value imports of meat products in $US million, 2012 to 2016
HS Code Description 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 *CAGR 2012-16
Total 4,408.5 4,847.5 4,773.5 5,046.5 4,438.4 0%
0207 Frozen/fresh/chilled poultry 2,764.7 3,143.6 2,788.5 3,026.9 2,671.9 -1%
0204 Frozen/fresh meat of sheep or goat 596.8 644.8 825.7 780.4 719.7 5%
0202 Frozen beef 517.3 527.0 574.5 825.7 780.4 11%
0201 Fresh/chilled beef 246.3 281.5 338.5 367.1 359.8 10%
  • Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2017
  • * CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
The GCC’s historic value imports of meat products by country in $US million, 2012 to 2016
Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 *CAGR 2012-16
Total 4,408.5 4,847.5 4,773.5 5,046.5 4,438.4 0%
Saudi Arabia 2,127.1 2,370.9 2,193.1 2,358.9 1,947.9 -2%
United Arab Emirates 1,184.9 1,285.3 1,356.1 1,375.1 1,334.9 3%
Kuwait 447.3 455.9 447.1 506.3 377.1 -4%
Qatar 271.7 282.7 335.4 366.3 356.0 7%
Oman 240.2 262.6 254.8 266.5 251.3 1%
Bahrain 137.3 190.1 187.0 173.4 171.3 6%
  • Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2017
  • * CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Saudi Arabia imported the largest amount with a value of US$1,947.9 million in 2016, representing 45% of the GCC’s total meat imports worth US$4,438.4 million in 2016. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the major importers accounting for nearly 74% of meat imports in the region in 2016. Qatar had the highest compound annual growth rate of 7% from 2012 to 2016.

Competitive landscape

The GCC region is a significant poultry meat market, a destination for over 11.2% (US$2,671.9 million) of world exports in 2016 (US$23, 770.8 million). Over half of the shipments were sent to Saudi Arabia while a quarter went to the UAE in 2016. Demand for poultry meat imports is strong for two main reasons: low domestic production, and re-exports.

World poultry export to the GCC in US$ million, 2012 to 2016
Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 GCC share 2016
World 26,053.1 27,292.6 28,183.1 24,258.9 23,770.8
The GCC 2,764.7 3,143.6 2,788.5 3,026.9 2,671.9 11.2%
Saudi Arabia 1,513.5 1,760.1 1,482.0 1,654.4 1,366.2 5.7%
United Arab Emirates 635.0 694.8 673.4 697.4 662.5 2.8%
Kuwait 237.7 253.5 209.3 225.9 205.6 0.9%
Qatar 158.4 170.2 183.2 188.2 181.6 0.8%
Oman 157.6 175.7 157.6 169.1 159.0 0.7%
Bahrain 62.6 89.3 82.9 91.8 97.0 0.4%
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2017
Top Countries supplying meat products to the GCC and their top three products ($US) 2015 to 2016
Country Product 2015 2016
Brazil Poultry meat 2,355,371,025 2,076,505,689
Frozen beef 46,749,335 113,805,550
Fresh/chilled beef 32,243,533 83,018,356
Australia Meat of sheep and goats 426,335,167 403,671,519
Fresh/chilled beef 150,901,117 106,869,110
Frozen beef 139,212,824 72,878,096
India Frozen beef 468,601,053 340,730,720
Meat of sheep and goats 127,770,647 124,923,924
Fresh/chilled beef 56,977,739 48,163,240
United States Poultry meat 91,663,589 108,780,035
Frozen beef 82,475,828 78,721,968
Fresh/chilled beef 39,333,436 26,935,257
France Poultry meat 301,728,047 206,142,984
Frozen beef 287,574 366,206
Fresh/chilled beef 186,938 120,233
New Zealand Meat of sheep and goats 105,774,033 64,301,922
Fresh/chilled beef 49,116,120 47,515,402
Frozen beef 24,110,192 11,863,172
Ethiopia Meat of sheep and goats 93,757,516 91,035,691
Frozen beef 148,376 1,838,165
Fresh/chilled beef 45,899 215,685
South Africa Fresh/chilled beef 22,401,043 29,139,927
Frozen beef 11,749,612 9,785,239
Meat of sheep and goats 657 30,217
Argentina Poultry meat 60,219,466 28,671,048
Fresh/chilled beef 1,992,329 1,655,776
Meat of sheep and goats 7,478,346 326,082
Jordan Poultry meat 8,837,120 21,370,417
Frozen beef 3,059,299 4,250,271
Meat of sheep and goats 233,135 229,706
Canada (12) Frozen beef 14,961,976 14,559,964
Fresh/chilled beef 4,314,874 6,022,561
Meat of sheep and goats 274,200 261,153
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2017

Among the top ten meat suppliers, poultry meat was the largest supplied product of the five suppliers (Brazil, United States, France, Argentina and Jordan). Meat of sheep and goat was the largest supplied product of the three suppliers (Australia, New Zealand and Ethiopia) between 2015 and 2016. Canada was the twelfth largest meat supplier to the GCC with the frozen beef being the leading supplied product from 2015 to 2016.

Livestock trends

The food consumption pattern is steadily changing from carbohydrate-based staple foods (such as cereals) to protein-rich diets including meat and dairy products. This pattern combined with growth in population and visitors alike, are boosting the demand for livestock products.

The available data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) shows that bovine, sheep, goat and poultry production numbers are increasing year-over-year by an average of 9% per year.

The GCC’s livestock production in 2014
Product Country Head Slaughtered including imports
Poultry Saudi Arabia 183,000,000 618,130,000
Kuwait 44,203,000 28,100,000
United Arab Emirates 22,500,000 36,469,000
Qatar 8,600,000 7,358,000
Oman 4,600,000 7,723,000
Bahrain 550,000 4,307,000
Goats Saudi Arabia 3,450,000 2,014,507
Oman 2,100,000 773,998
United Arab Emirates 1,920,000 2,650,480
Qatar 267,202 171,497
Kuwait 153,391 44,850
Bahrain 18,500 12,165
Sheep Saudi Arabia 11,650,000 5,034,904
United Arab Emirates 2,150,000 390,819
Kuwait 628,041 2,292,120
Oman 560,000 996,352
Qatar 545,440 571,859
Bahrain 40,000 963,887
Beef cattle Oman 365,000 182,035
Saudi Arabia 354,276 270,886
United Arab Emirates 87,000 60,554
Kuwait 27,310 17,875
Bahrain 10,500 8,646
Qatar 8,491 4,194
Source: FAO 2017

Saudi Arabia was the largest producer of poultry in the region in 2014. Its production covers about 70% of poultry flock in the GCC. Saudi Arabia was also the largest producer of goat and sheep, and second- largest producer of beef cattle in the GCC.

Top live animal suppliers to the GCC by value in US$, 2012 to 2016
Rank Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 *CAGR 2012 to 2016
Total 818,637,777 749,418,418 929,335,301 962,789,800 787,677,020 -1%
1 Iran (Islamic Rep. of) 36,276,893 1,483,994 59,095,492 238,383,680 200,274,764 60%
2 Jordan 137,992,735 219,369,366 207,820,973 201,992,356 141,469,276 10%
3 Australia 229,398,732 139,363,211 164,064,606 156,174,535 125,839,107 -9%
4 United Kingdom 28,868,327 40,274,669 40,088,208 42,110,202 36,706,357 10%
5 United States 31,225,758 30,537,612 33,269,345 44,734,938 28,407,032 9%
6 India 148,873 761,732 194,985 100,792 26,059,353 -9%
7 Egypt 12,838,374 16,130,123 18,757,131 16,299,649 18,756,329 6%
8 Ethiopia 24,507,571 26,307,861 33,875,600 25,636,204 17,980,699 1%
9 Netherlands 23,149,500 45,104,057 36,998,037 26,777,085 17,016,733 4%
10 Germany 23,234,687 24,160,890 29,650,012 18,367,990 16,144,847 -6%
26 Canada 770,265 1,180,974 1,223,371 749,563 606,667 -1%
  • Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2017
  • * CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Iran, Jordan and Australia were the top three live animal suppliers to the GCC: US$467.6 million in 2016, accounting for 60% of the total live animal supply worth US$787.7 million to the GCC. Canada was the twenty-sixth top live animal supplier in 2016 with a value of US$606,667 in 2016. Iran had the highest compound annual growth rate of 60% from 2012 to 2016.

According to Tamer Qarmout's article: “Can more meat go to the Middle East?”, Canada is lagging compared to other competitors when it comes to beef and livestock exports to the region. Canada being one of the world’s leading countries in beef and agriculture produce, technologies and research can help in building the much-needed regional capacities in agriculture research and development. Canada can develop mutually beneficial relations with the GCC and research entities aimed at developing scientific and research-based agricultural practices and best solutions. Such co-operation can take place in two ways: by facilitating Arab investments in the livestock and beef production sector in Canada, and by helping the governments in the region to acquire necessary skills and capacities in this sector.

Conclusion

The GCC has an increasing population, limited local agricultural production, a growing demand for imported food products, and a strong re-export market. Canadian agri-food products are perceived as being high-quality and safe.

The GCC countries demand for halal meat in particular, continues to rise both in quantity and quality. With local meat supply and herd expansion being constrained by arid land, feed and water shortages, the GCC will continue to import a significant proportion of meat from the world.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

For more information on the 2018 Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, please contact:

Ben Berry, Deputy Director
Trade Show Strategy and Delivery
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
ben.berry@canada.ca

Resources

Sector Trend Analysis - Meat Trends in the Gulf Cooperation Council
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Hongli Wang, Market Analyst

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