Slight decrease in EU meat production, except for pork
A short-term outlook for the meat industry within the EU shows that moderate decline is expected in the output for poultry, beef and sheepmeat, while pig meat production may rise by 0.5% due to increased demand for pork in Asia. For pork products, the situation will be supported by favourable prices, the return of consumer demand and solid export prospects (+ 10% ), mainly to China, and recent investments in the sector. The only factor that could curb the production is the penetration of the ASF virus to some large producing countries in the bloc such as Germany, France, Spain, Denmark or the Netherlands.
However, in the single market, reduced consumption during the lockdown and limited overall internal availability will cause apparent consumption of pork to drop below 30 kg per capita in 2020.
Beef production and consumption are also expected to drop, with a significant impact for the following years as a contraction in the breeding herds is expected to appear this year. Overall, beef production in the EU will drop by 1.7% in 2020 and consumption will go under 10.4 kg per capita.
In poultry, the decline in production is expected to be around 2% due to a decrease in slaughter figures in Q2-Q4, reflecting the sector's ability to quickly adapt to declining demand, as well as market uncertainties, even when it comes to exports. Poultry meat, other than chicken, (ducks, guinea fowl, pigeons or quail) is expected to be particularly affected. Poultry consumption is going to decline by 1.9% to reach 24 kilos per capita. Sheep and goat meat producers will face a drop of 1.5% in production due to limited demand in the period of Easter and Ramadan, a drop in demand from foodservice sector and the shortage of supplies due to logistical problems created by the COVID-19 crisis. Live animal exports increased in the first quarter of 2020 (+ 5% y-o-y), supported by higher demand from Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and despite fewer animals being shipped to traditional partners Libya and Lebanon. Overall, livestock exports are projected to decrease by 2% in 2020 as this high level of shipments could slow down.
Sheep and goat meat consumption within the bloc is expected to fall by 2.9% from the current level of 1.4 kg per capita.