Prospects for EU commodity markets are favourable for the period 2013-2023, according to the European Commission's latest Medium-term Prospects. The medium-term forecast for arable crops is relatively positive, thanks to solid world demand and firm prices. The EU meat sector is expected to be supported by strong demand on the world market, while prospects of economic recovery should also allow for a higher consumption in Europe. Poultry meat will remain the most dynamic segment and pork Europe's favourite meat, while the decline in beef and sheep meat consumption is projected to continue.
In Europe, prospects of recovery in economic growth should leave consumers with more disposable income, allowing for a higher consumption of meat products. EU per capita meat consumption, which reached its lowest level for the past 11 years (64.7 kg retail weight) in 2013, is expected to recover from 2014 as more meat comes onto the market. In 2023, per capita consumption is expected to reach 66.1 kg, similar to the 2011 level. Over the projection period, it is expected that poultry meat will remain the most dynamic product (thanks to its cheaper price, convenience and healthy image) and pork will remain Europe's favourite meat, while the consumption of beef and sheep meat is projected to drop both in absolute and relative terms.
EU pig meat market development (million tonnes)
Following two years of decline due to the implementation of new animal welfare rules, pig meat production is expected to increase as of 2014, to 23.4 million tonnes in 2023. This increase (+2.8% against the 2010-12 average) is moderate because of environmental constraints in some of the main producing countries (e.g. the Netherlands and some parts of France).
Tuesday January 14, 2014/ European Commission - Agriculture and Rural Development/ European Union.