According to European Comission's "Short Term Outlook for arable crop, meat and dairy markets", EU pig meat production is expected to decline (-1%) due to poor profitability in past years and the need for investments.
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 and relative cheapness. Overall meat production in the EU should decrease slightly (by 1.1%) in 2012, and remain stable in 2013.
Pig meat In the pigmeat sector, the sharp rise in grain prices from 2010 led to increased feed costs that persisted throughout 2011, reducing the scope of higher pig meat prices to improve producer margins. Margins improved only in the last quarter of 2011 softening the pressure from feeding costs. The world consumption of pigmeat declined but external demand remained strong with tight supply from competitors. The outlook for 2012 is characterised by firm producer margins driven by continuously high pig meat prices and stable feed prices. However, EU production is expected to decline (-1%) due to poor profitability in past years and the need for investments. 2011 was exceptionally good for pigmeat exports, and the outlook for 2012 remains favourable despite a slight decrease of 2%. EU pigmeat imports are expected to decrease further, with -3.5% in 2012. Consumption of pigmeat (absolute and per capita) is expected to decrease slightly in the next two years (roughly by 1-1.5%).
February 2012/ Short Term Outlook for arable crop, meat and dairy markets/ European Comission.