2,7 million tonnes of beef produced in the EU
EU beef production in the first 5 months of the year remained stable, according to the latest Eurostat report. There was a slight increase of 0.2% from the figures reported for the same period last year and also large declines in several countries such as Ireland, Germany and Sweden.
2.7 million tonnes of beef was produced in the EU until the end of May. Production was constrained during the first two months of the year, January in particular, but this was offset by increased output from March to May.
Looking at the data by country, Spain showed the largest actual increase in beef production over that time (+17,000 tonnes), followed by France (+10,000 tonnes) and Portugal (+3,000 tonnes). Italy and Poland also increased production.
On the other hand, lower production came largely from Ireland (-17,000 tonnes), Germany and Sweden (both -5,000 tonnes). The Netherlands and Belgium also produced less year-on-year.
"Looking at the number of cattle slaughtered, a total of 9.2 million head were processed in the bloc between Jan-May (inclusive), up 0.8% compared to the same period a year ago. Unsurprisingly, Spain led the way (+63,000 head), followed by Italy (+31,000 head) and France (+23,000 head). Declines came from Ireland (-43,000 head), Turkey (-20,000 head) and Sweden (-17,000 head)," commented Hannah Clarke, AHDB analyst.
The European Commission forecasts that beef production will decline by 1.4% for 2021 overall, driven partly by a shrinking cow herd. Consequentially, EU beef imports are forecast to increase by 8% for the year overall. According to Eurostat data, EU beef imports for Jan-May are currently down 19% year-on-year. EC expects imports to rise for the second half of the year, partly driven by increased foodservice activity.
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