EU meat production growth set to slow
Overall meat production growth in the EU is expected to slow in 2016, according to the EU Commission’s latest Short-term Outlook report.
Having risen by around 2.5% in 2014 and 2015, output is only forecast to increase by 0.7% in 2016. The slowdown is expected to affect all the major meats except sheep meat, where there was little growth to start with. Poultry meat is still expected to grow more quickly than other meats but even it is only forecast to record a 1.1% rise.
Despite the slower production growth, meat exports are forecast to rise by around 3% in 2016, with beef, pork and poultry meat all showing similar increases. This follows a better than expected export performance in 2015, with shipments up 6% even with the loss of the Russian market. Meat imports are also forecast to be higher, by 2%, with most of the increase being for poultry meat. As in most recent years, poultry meat is set to be the main driver of a small increase in per capita meat consumption.
The report also forecasts that EU cereal production will reach 301.9 million tonnes this year. Although that is 8% lower than last year’s record harvest, only 3 of the previous 10 seasons were more productive. Similarly, oilseed production is estimated to be lower than last year but above the 5-year average. Combined with favourable global production, this suggests that prices for cereals and oilseeds will remain low. Indeed low prices are apparent throughout the report, with sugar and dairy also involved, along with the pig sector, of course.
The full Short-term Outlook report can be downloaded by clicking here.