(Omer Mustafa and Ali Ahmed) - Livestock represents the largest subsector of the Sudanese domestic economy
and is a growing contributor to exports. Sudan is characterized by vast areas of range and arable land which is either rain-fed or irrigated. Although it has a large population of livestock estimated to be 103 million heads of which 29.4, 39.1, 30.5 and 4.6 million heads of cattle, sheep, goat and camel, respectively but, until now by the international standards is not classified among the main meat producers or exporters! Despite the expected low cost of the traditional method of animal production, still the prices are relatively high compared with international prices. In addition, Sudanese meat prices are constantly fluctuating between seasons and within the year. The main meat producing countries in the world are China, United States, Brazil, Germany and India, but the main producers are not necessarily to be the main exporters. A country like
China consumes all the meat it produces and imports more. The main meat exporting countries are India, Brazil, Australia and the United States. India is the leading beef exporter in the world. The main meat markets around the world are South –East Asia, West Asia, North Africa, Gulf countries, Japan, North Korea and U.S.A. The Global meat prices are affected by a number of factors mainly feed cost and drought. Meat production in warm climatic zones involves some specific problems that differ greatly from those encountered in the temperate zones. Therefore, an efficient well developed production and marketing systems is needed so as to compete in the international market with countries that producing at the lowest cost and high quality.
Meat quality can be improved by the application of available improved techniques throughout the processing chain. Range management and genetic improvement are key factors in any programs aiming at increasing efficiency of production.
Meat is one of the most expensive agricultural commodities. The objectives of this work were to present an overview on the international meat market, main consumers, producers, exporters, importers and prices. We showed the size of the national herd of the main producing countries. We looked at the future of the international meat market as the announcement that are expected to be consumed, produced and the future of the global meat prices. The increase in the amounts produced in the future is expected to come from developing countries. We made a special focus on the Sudan and discussed the obstacles and gave suggestions for a country looking forward to increase its meat production and contribute a considerable share in the international meat market. Global geography of meat consumption
Countries around the world can be divided into two categories "Carnivorous" and “Non-carnivorous" based on the quantity of meat consumed per person. A person from the lowest category consumes 10 times less meat than a person from a country in the highest category such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand or Spain. Overall, the
Americas, Australia and Europe consume more meat per capita than other parts of the world (Table 1). With a few exceptions, Africa, the Middle East, South and South East
Asia are the least carnivorous areas. It is often suggested that the levels of meat consumption correlate with the overall economic development of a given country. People in richer countries can afford to consume more meat than those in poor countries. According to the FAO, the USA had the third largest per capita meat consumption (behind Luxembourg and Hong Kong).Out of 171 countries in 2005, those countries ate over 41 times more meat than Bangladesh, which ranked No 171. FAO (2009) stated that "Evidence suggests that poor people, especially young children and their mothers in the developing countries, are not consuming enough animal-based food while other people, particularly in the developed countries, are consuming too much