EU meat production growth set to slow down
Meat production in the EU is forecast to increase by 2% this year but growth will slow down next year, according to the EU Commission’s latest short-term outlook.
Output is expected to rise across all the major meats in 2015, with pig meat showing the fastest growth of nearly 3%. However, even this marks a slowdown from the near 6% rise in the first half of the year. This is due to the poor profitability of producers in much of the EU over the last year, which is likely to have led to some herd reductions. This is also reflected in forecasts for next year, when output is only expected to rise by 1%. Slowdowns are also forecast for beef and sheep meat but poultry meat production is set to grow at a similar rate to this year.
The weakening of the euro against the dollar has made EU meat more competitive on export markets. Therefore, despite the Russian ban, meat exports are expected to grow this year and next. In the case of pig meat, the EU Commission forecasts increases of 7% for 2015 and 8% for 2016. Despite this, the rise in production means that per capita consumption is likely to increase again this year before stabilising in 2016.
The report also confirms that 2014/15 marked the best ever EU harvest, leading to record exports and a build-up of stocks. Current forecasts suggest another strong production season in 2015/16, although not matching last year. Output of all major cereals and oilseeds is expected to remain above the five-year average. Only a small drawdown of stocks is anticipated, despite another strong export campaign being anticipated.
The full EU Short-term Outlook report can be downloaded by clicking here.