EU meat production expected to increase
The latest EU Commission short-term outlook report alludes to a positive marketplace for livestock sectors, with production set to grow for all meats in 2015.
The pig and poultry sectors, where feed can account for two thirds of costs, will benefit from record harvests at lower costs. EU maize harvests in 2014 were up 14% on the year and oilseed production was up 11%. The weakening position of the euro against the US dollar has allowed meat products to be competitively exported elsewhere, especially to Asia. Last week’s opening of the Private Storage Aid for some pig meat cuts is also designed to alleviate any over-supply, supporting a faster recovery of output product prices and thus improving producer margins.
The outlook report suggests the pig sector will see a “continuous recovery in production” in the short-term, aided by low feed costs and continued improvements in productivity. Disease has been a recent limiting factor for some EU herds but Polish production, for example, has reportedly increased by 9% on the year despite ASF outbreaks. The implementation of new welfare measures for breeding sows has been credited with leading to an increase in piglet production in some countries and ultimately an increase in pig meat production. With the latest EU census reporting an increase in the breeding herd overall, increased production looks set to continue in 2015 and 2016. With per capita consumption likely to remain relatively stable, this will mean more product being exported, offsetting the decline recorded in 2014.
To read the full report, click here.