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EU meat production expected to drop

By Carmen Paun, in Brussels , 22-Jan-2013
Last updated on 22-Jan-2013 at 11:16 GMT

The sow stall ban is one reason behind the decline in EU meat production
The sow stall ban is one reason behind the decline in EU meat production

The total meat production in the European Union (EU) will drop by 2% in the next two years, according to a report published on Friday by the European Commission on the prospects for agricultural markets and income in the EU from 2012-2022.

The EU ban on sow stalls, which came into effect at the beginning of the year, is expected to be one cause of this decrease.

The drop follows an increase in EU meat production in 2010 and 2011. After the oncoming 2% drop, it will take 10 years for the EU meat sector to reach its 2011 production level of 45 million tonnes, the European Commission estimates. Looking at product categories from 2011 to 2022, EU sheep meat production is expected to fall 16%; and there is a projected 4% reduction in beef production. And pig meat production would recover from the sow stall ban and remain roughly the same, at around 23 million tonnes. By contrast, poultry production is expected to increase by 4%.

According to the report, EU meat production in the coming decade will be driven by “increasing poultry and pork meat consumption, as well as by a firm external demand and higher prices”. However, pig meat is and will remain the meat Europeans prefer the most.

“On a per capita basis, EU meat consumption in 2022, at 82.6kg, would be at approximately the same level as it was in 2009 and 1% lower than in 2011, despite the improved macroeconomic prospects,” the report forecasts. From that, each European will consume 40.8kg of pig meat in 2022. The consumption of poultry in the same year is projected to be of 24.1kg per capita, while the quantity of beef and veal consumed by each European will be 15.7kg. In 2022, Europeans will consume less than 2kg of sheep and goat meat each.

The report predicts that the EU would see its share of global meat exports decline over the next 10 years, from 13.7% now to 10.1% in 2022.

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