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Dominance of the Industry by SA

20 May 2004

In 2002, it is estimated that South Africa slaughtered 310,000 ostriches, as compared to the rest of the world 80,000.

Indeed in 2003, South Africa is said to have supplied 79% of the ostrich skins into the market, as opposed to the Rest of the World 21%.

In the Rest of the World category, major players have come and gone. Australia, Zimbabwe and Namibia have all been prominent at one time, but the strongest challenger to come is likely to be China.

In China, with governmental and private backing, ostrich farming entities are now growing in strength.

The value of a slaughter bird in South Africa is broken up as 45% skin, 45% meat and 10% feather. This contrasts with Europe where 75% is meat and 25% skin. The rest of the world have still to explore fully income from feathers (a very labour intensive operation), and the value of the oil from the fat is still underdeveloped.

South Africa has a comparative advantage over Europe in that their operations permit economies of scale. However whilst South Africa continues to produce 25 kg meat yields, the meat revenue remains comparatively lower than what it could be.

Source: Recognition to Alan B. Stables

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