According to "Prospects for EU agricultural markets and income 2014-2024", EU meat production is expected to increase to 44.9 million tonnes, driven mainly by sustained expansion in poultry meat. Bigger populations and strong economic growth in developing countries (albeit slower than in the previous decade) are expected to support higher world meat demand and favour a rise in EU meat exports.
- After two years of sharp decline, EU beef production is expected to recover in 2014-15 on the back of the recent increase in the dairy herd (in the EU, around two thirds of beef production comes from the dairy herd). However, beef production is expected to return to its historical declining trend soon after, to reach a level of 7.6 million tonnes in 2024, slightly below that of 2014.
- After several years of a decreasing trend, sheep and goat meat production and consumption are expected to stabilise at the current level thanks to improved profitability.
- Pig meat production is expected to recover in 2015 after three years of reduced supply, mainly due to adjustments linked to new animal welfare rules, and increase marginally by 2 % in 2024 as compared with 2014. In a context of slowly decreasing internal consumption, EU pig meat exports are expected to grow steadily, supported by sustained world demand and a competitive EU pig meat sector.
- Poultry meat is the only meat for which production and consumption are expected to expand significantly over the outlook period (both by 7 % in 2024 as compared with 2014). Poultry meat is enjoying several comparative advantages over other meats, including price affordability, convenience, healthier image, lower production costs, shorter rearing time and reduced investment needs.
Friday December 5, 2014/ EC - Agriculture and Rural Development/ European Union.