According to the European Commission latest "Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU 2012-2020", total EU meat production, after having increased during both 2010 and 2011, will contract by 2% over the next two years. After this reduction, total meat production is projected to steadily recover over the ten year horizon and to reach almost 45 million tonnes in 2022, approximately the same level recorded in 2011.
Meat production is mainly driven by increasing poultry and pork meat consumption, as well as by a firm external demand and higher prices. On a per capita basis, EU meat consumption in 2022, at 82.6 kg, would be at approximately the same level as it was in 2009 and 1% lower than in 2011, despite the improved macroeconomic prospects. Pig meat is expected to remain the preferred meat in the EU with 40.8 kg/capita consumption in 2022, compared to 24.1 kg for poultry, 15.7 kg for beef/veal and less than 2.0 kg for sheep and goat meat.
The net trade position of the EU is projected to deteriorate over the outlook period, driven by an increase in meat imports (of beef/veal, sheep and goat and poultry meats) and a parallel decline in exports of poultry. Aggregate meat imports would grow by 5.2% (2022 vs. 2011) and exports would decline by 6.8%, leaving the EU, nevertheless, a net exporter of pig and poultry meats in 2022.
The contraction in the pig herd in 2011 compared to 2010 (-1.7%), and more markedly in breeding sows (-3.2%), generates a marginal decline in EU pig meat production in 2012 (-0.4%). In 2013, the decrease is expected to be even larger (-3.2%), as it will cumulate with the impact of mandatory welfare standards coming into force as of January 2013 and of higher feed costs incurred due to the US drought.
After its fall in 2012 and 2013, pig meat production is projected to resume its growth from the second half of 2014, as production is expected to respond to high prices, with farmers progressively adjusting to the new welfare requirements. By 2022 pig meat production would roughly settle at the level of 2011, i.e. approximately 23 million tonnes.
Increased feed prices as a result of the drought in the US during the first half of 2012 were compensated by high pig meat prices which led to stable producers' margins. After reaching the historical high of 1 900 EUR/t in September 2012 (31% more than the 2007-2011 average), prices fell slightly in October (-0.5% against
the previous month). Piglet prices have so far followed the seasonal trend and are situated around 470 EUR/t.
Lower availabilities in 2013 would trigger a projected decline of 15% in EU exports, followed by a rebound in 2014, when production is expected to recover; this trend Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU 2012-2020 December 2012 would be of short duration as exports would then start decreasing again (-9% on aggregate over 2011-2022).
Overall EU pig meat consumption is expected to increase by 4.3% (+3% and +10% in the EU-15 and EU-N12 respectively). Although EU per capita consumption would decrease by 1.6% between 2011 and 2022, pig meat would continue to represent half of EU total meat consumption. It is worth observing that, at world level, poultry meat would represent the most consumed meat overtaking pig meat (on average
14.5 kg/capita versus 12.7 kg/capita).
The EU is more than self-sufficient in pig meat, producing about 110% of its domestic consumption and this trend is expected to continue throughout the outlook period. However, increased competition from other producing countries (for example China) would see the EU production share in global production slowly
Friday January 18, 2013/ European Commission/ European Union.