According to the latest "Short-term outlook for arable crop, meat and dairy markets" published by the Commission, EU cereal harvest is forecast to set a new record in 2014, with strong exports and stocks expected to increase substantially and meat production starts to recover in 2014 after two years of low supplies.
First signals of production increase after two years of reduced pig meat supply
After two years of reduced pig meat supply, a further 0.5% contraction of the pig meat production is expected for 2014. But the decline in production took place in the first half of the year and there are now signs of a recovery in production; in May-June the number of breeding sows was higher compared to last year, notably in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark and Hungary. Production was expected to recover slightly already in 2014, but the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in February 2014, which led to a full ban of EU exports to Russia (even before the August ban was imposed by Russia) delayed the recovery in EU production by bringing uncertainty in the market.
The situation varies among Member States. In the first seven months of the year, slaughterings went down compared to last year in three of the main producing country: -2% in Germany, -1% in Denmark and around -5% in Italy. Slaughterings were relatively stable in France, while noticeably higher in Poland (+7%) and the Netherlands (+3%).
The lower feed prices should allow the sector to cope with declining pig prices and to achieve a projected 0.8% production recovery in 2015.
The 2014 EU pig meat exports are expected to decline by just 8% compared to 2013, despite the loss of the Russian market since February 2014, which accounted for a quarter of total extra-EU pig meat exports. Part of the volumes initially destined to Russia is expected to be absorbed by some growing Asian markets like Philippines, South Korea or Japan.
In 2014, pig meat consumption is expected to be stable at the 2013 low levels (31 kg/capita in retail weight). Consumption is expected to resume growth in 2015 together with higher availability on the EU market and better prospects of economic growth.
Tuesday October 7, 2014/ EC - Agriculture and Rural Development/ European Union.