Both meat production and consumption in the EU are expected to decrease in 2012, according to a recent report by the European Commission.
Overall meat production in the EU is expected to decrease by 1.1% in 2012 and remain stable with a further small decrease of 0.1% in 2013, while a decrease in total EU meat consumption is foreseen of 0.7% in 2012 and 0.4% in 2013, the EC’s Short Term Outlook for February 2012 stated.
The EU meat sector in 2011 was supported by a relatively strong level of demand on the world market characterised by the quite favourable global economic situation. Global import demand increased, partly as a consequence of animal disease related supply constraints in the Far-East.
Overall supply of meat was further constrained by high feed costs despite the reasonably good harvest in the EU, US, Canada and Russia. As a consequence world prices increased which contributed to the continued good performance of EU exports.
The outlook is characterised by a further contraction in total EU meat consumption, which is expected to decrease by 0.7% in 2012 and 0.4% in 2013. Only poultry meat has proven to be resilient, with consumption estimated to have grown slightly in 2011 and expected to increase further over the outlook period given its healthy image. The total consumption of poultry meat is expected to increase in 2012 by 0.8% in the EU mainly triggered by a higher domestic demand and relatively cheap availability.
World demand for poultry meat is growing everywhere except in the US where the demand is likely to remain weak. Global production should grow except in the US where poor profitability led to a cut in production since the second half of 2011. Net production in the EU is expected to grow slightly by 0.6% in 2012 and by 0.7% in 2013 compared with the years before.
Concerning the trade flows in 2012, our exports are expected to decline by 1.2% and this tendency should continue in 2013 with imports remaining at the same level in 2012 as in 2011.
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