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EU meat market to decrease

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The drop in consumption is mainly driven by changes in consumer habits to diminish meat in their diet and decreased meat and poultry production to promote sustainability.

Posted on Feb 21 ,11:29

EU meat market to decrease

The market for meat and poultry in the EU is forecast to decrease at an average yearly rate of -0.4% in the upcoming decade. The drop in consumption is mainly driven by changes in consumer habits to diminish meat in their diet and decreased meat and poultry production to promote sustainability. Demand for beef and pork is expected to fall, while for poultry and sheep, it will increase. In these conditions, alternative proteins will not compete with animal-based meats due to their high costs. Meat and poultry exports from EU countries will decline, primarily due to lower demand from Asia, stated a recent report from IndexBox.
IndexBox estimates that the EU meat and poultry market will stagnate in the near future. While global meat consumption is projected to grow at an average annual rate of +1.4% thanks to rising incomes in developing countries, the EU per capita meat consumption is forecast to decline slightly from 68kg in 2022 to 67.5kg per person in 2025.
"Shifts in consumption patterns towards lower beef and pork intake constitute the principal factor shaping market stagnation. Even rising demand for poultry and sheepmeat will be insufficient to offset that. To struggle with climate change, cattle herds are to be cut, and this could limit market growth from the supply side because the EU market is buoyed by domestic production.

Consumers are paying more attention to production process sustainability, especially animal welfare and environmental footprint; therefore, the organic meat segment is growing. As for meat substitutes, lab meat is not expected to become a competitor to animal-based meat because of low consumer acceptance and the high production cost. Plant-based meat alternatives held a market share of around 1% of total meat sales in 2020 and will not significantly expand in the next five years," said the report.

Compared with the 2019-2021 average, beef production in 2022 is forecast to decline by -1.4% to 6.8M tonnes due to herds reducing by -3.3% to 30.7M heads. Pork production will decrease by -1% to 23.5M tonnes, while chicken meat production will increase by +0.6% to 13.7M tonnes. In 2022, sheep meat production will slightly drop by -0.5% to 637K tonnes, but from 2023, it will rise steadily, reaching 648K tonnes by 2025.

By 2031, the market share for EU exports in global trade will decline from 20% to 17% due to a slowdown in pig meat exports to Asia. In 2020, 16M tonnes of meat and poultry were exported, worth $46.4B.

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