Global Honey Market Is Set To Pursue Moderate Growth

Other Food Products April 13, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

IndexBox has just published a new report "World: Honey - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025".
Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The Honey Market Continues A Modest Growth, With China And The U.S. Being The Largest Consumers 

In 2016, the market value of honey totaled $7,047M. A slight drop in 2009 was followed by a sharp increase over the period from 2010-2013. However, the market value declined over the next two years, which was then followed by a recovery in 2016. Equally, overall, the market value of honey achieved an annual growth of +4.3% over the period from 2007 to 2016. In physical terms, the market showed a gradual increase (+2.4% per year) over the period under the review, reaching 1,847K tonnes in 2016.

China (19% in 2016, based on physical terms) and the U.S. (12%) were the countries with the highest consumption, followed by Turkey (5%), Iran (4%), Germany (4%) and Russia (3%). All these countries together made up a 47% share of global consumption.

Iran, with +6.3% growth, the U.S., with +3.7% growth and Turkey, with +3.7% growth, recorded the highest annual rates of growth in terms of honey consumption from 2007 to 2016. 

Turkey (1,290 kg/year in 2016) and Iran (1,014 kg/year) recorded high levels of per capita consumption amongst the leading consuming countries, which was significantly higher than the world average of 251 kg/year. Iran, with a +5.2% growth, the U.S. (+2.9%) and Turkey with +2.3% recorded the most notable annual rates of growth in terms of per capita consumption from 2007 to 2016.

In China, per capita honey consumption was estimated at 276 kg/year in 2016, which was almost equal to the global average of 251 kg/year. Despite the insignificant per capita consumption figures when compared with the other countries, China remains the world’s leading honey consuming country in absolute volumes. This fact, therefore, would appear to indicate that China’s honey market boasts a low degree of saturation.  

The Global Honey Market Is Set To Pursue Moderate Growth

There are two major honey applications: honey for human consumption and honey for industrial use. The demand for honey on a global scale is increasing both from consumers and from the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. The rising population and its requirement for food products constitute the key impetus for the increased honey demand; these factors are helping to promote market growth on the developed and also the relatively saturated markets, both in the USA and Europe. In addition, rising household income is creating demand for premium types of honey, particularly in China and in other Asian countries. 

The quality and safety of honey is an extensive issue for the global honey market: the quality control is carried out in different ways worldwide and honey may be easily faked (e.g. blended with a sugar syrup or labelled from the wrong origin). Moreover, the markets that feature high honey consumption still depend on imports too heavily; despite various issues on honey quality rising from time to time, such markets remain unable to withdraw imports totally. Despite these factors, however, product quality on the market seems to be improving and competition is now more robust as a result. Thus, a recent decline in Chinese exports following lack of access to the European market resulted in increased supplies from Ukraine and Argentina. Export prices in these countries, however, remain below the global average. 

Equally, any stable development of the honey market will be subject to significant risks in terms of production. Bees are highly vulnerable to the changing external conditions associated with climate change. In addition, bee health is negatively affected by the application of pesticides, used extensively by most crop producers. These factors point to the decline in the bee population worldwide; in economic terms, these issues increase producer costs to ensure that the bee population is maintained. 

In view of the factors highlighted above, it is expected that the current trends prevailing on the global honey market should continue in the medium term. Driven by global population growth, the honey sector is anticipated to retain an upward consumption trend over the next ten years. The market performance is forecast to continue its moderate but steady upward trend, with an anticipated CAGR of +1.6% from 2015 to 2025, which is expected to lead the market to a volume of 2.1M tonnes by 2025.

Honey Output Remained Unchanged Against The Previous Year 

Honey production reached 1.8M tonnes in 2016, growing with a CAGR of +2.6% per year from 2007 to 2016. There was a steady upward trend of production except for negligible fluctuations, which then leveled off in 2016. In value terms, trend patterns reflected a more pronounced dynamic, due to producer price changes. In 2009, the production value contracted by 7% with a further strong, but decelerated growth over the next four years. However, production slipped back over the 2014-2015 period, recovering in the last year.

China Remained The Major Honey Producer 

China was the key world honey producing country, with an output of about 503K tonnes in 2016, which accounted for 27% of total global output. The other major producers were Turkey (6%), Argentina (5%), Iran, the U.S., Russia (4%, each), India, Ukraine, Mexico and Ethiopia (3%, each). 

In China, production levels increased by +3.9% annually from 2007 to 2016. Most of the other major producing countries also increased their honey output in physical terms. From 2007-2016, the average annual rates of growth were especially high in Iran (+6.2%), Turkey (+4.0%), China (+3.9%), and Russia (+3.0%). By contrast, Ukraine (-1.5% per year) recorded an annual decline in terms of honey output.

China And Argentina Remain The Largest Global Exporters Of Honey

In 2016, the value of global exports totaled $2,073M, with a mixed trend pattern over the last few years. From 2007-2014, a robust increase was recorded; in 2015, however, that growth lost its momentum, with the value of exports declining slightly further in the last year. In physical terms, the volume of global honey exports amounted to 624K tonnes in 2016, with a trend pattern similar to that in value terms: in 2016, it slipped back slightly after a six-year period of healthy and consistant growth.

China (128K tonnes in 2016), Argentina (81K tonnes), Ukraine (49K tonnes), India (36K tonnes), Mexico (29K tonnes), Spain (27K tonnes) and Germany (25K tonnes) were the main global suppliers of honey with a combined share of 40% of global exports. From 2007 to 2016, Ukraine (+34.1% per year) and India (+25.1% per year) were the fastest growing suppliers among the major exporters. Despite being the largest global producers of honey, Turkey, the U.S. and Russia did not export much of their production, meaning that it was consumed domestically.

The U.S. Constitutes The Largest Market For Imported Honey 

The value of global imports totaled $2,029M in 2016, which equated to 632K tonnes. The imports trend pattern generally mirrored that of exports: these trade flows globally complement each other. 

In 2016, the U.S. (166K tonnes), Germany (82K tonnes), Japan (48K tonnes), the UK (41K tonnes), France (36K tonnes), Spain (28K tonnes) and Belgium (27K tonnes) constituted the leading destinations for honey imports, together comprising 68% of global imports. Amongst the major importing countries Spain (+10.2% per year) and Belgium (+13.4% per year) gained the highest annual growth rates from 2007 to 2016, while imports to the U.S. (+5.2% per year), Japan (+2.8% per year), the UK (+3.3% per year) and France (+4.6% per year) posted more moderate gains. 

By contrast, imports to Germany (-1.5% per year) indicated a slight decline over the period under review. Therefore, the share of Germany in terms of global honey imports decreased significantly from 22% in 2007 to 13% in 2016, while the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

Source: World: Honey - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025