A drop in meat consumption is coming


The COVID-19 crisis pushes the industry to the limit, with consumption habits changing abruptly.

Posted on Jul 07 ,12:15

A drop in meat consumption is coming

The COVID-19 crisis combined with a series of changes that already occurred in the global market (flexitarianism, vegan trends or the ASF crisis) is going to hit hard meat producers around the globe, according to Bloomberg. For this year alone, the UN's FAO foresees a drop of 3% in consumption at a global level and what is most worrying is that the change is going to happen in every important market.
Supply disruptions in the US, EU and Brazil along with the closure of the foodservice channel or the "new" eat-at-home habits are going to reshape the outlook of the global meat market. In the European Union, pork consumption is expected to fall to a seven-year low in 2020, with beef and chicken also hitting troughs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts. There is already a significant drop in the number of daily consumers of meat or sausage in Germany, 26% in May 2020 vs 34% in 2015. In the US it's all about the way the restaurants are going to exist in the future. "If restaurants structurally look different in the future, and the number of out-of-home eating occasions is permanently altered, then I think it’s fair to say there may be less meat consumption. People are still going to consume the same amount of calories, but they will do it at home, where the meat percentage is lower," explained Decker Walker, agribusiness expert for Boston Consulting Group.
China’s pork consumption this year may drop by about 35% when compared with normal levels, before the pandemic and outbreaks of African swine fever, declared unanimously Lin Guofa, a senior analyst at Bric Agriculture Group, a Beijing-based consulting firm and Pan Chenjun, a senior livestock analyst with Rabobank. The Asian country accounts for 40% of global pork consumption and 17% in beef. Nowadays, concerns about a link between the coronavirus infections and meat imported have already triggered suspensions in trade with several producers in Europe and Brazil.
And, last but not least, brazil, the world's third-beef consumer is facing a change in consumption habits due to lower-income and a spike in beef prices created by continuous demand from China and halted operations in meat processing plants due to COVID-19 infections reported among workers.

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