Lower EU Beef Production In 2012

EU - The results of the European working forecast group for beef held last week suggest lower output and consumption in the European beef market during 2012, according to Peter Duggan, Strategic Information Services, Bord Bia- Irish Food Board.
calendar icon 15 November 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Most member states expect the stronger export trade outside of the EU to continue, although it remains to be seen if Turkey can maintain its current import levels.

Beef output in the EU-15 region is expected to fall by almost three per cent next year to just over 7.1 million tonnes. This fall is largely attributable to lower output in France, the UK and Ireland.

French output is forecast to fall by four per cent to 1.51 million tonnes on the back of the drought that occurred earlier this year, which led to some liquidation of the herd.

UK output is expected to fall by six per cent to 881,000 tonnes with most of this fall occurring in the first half of the year, which demonstrates the earlier marketing of animals during 2011. A similar fall is anticipated in Irish beef production for 2012.

The impact of ongoing austerity measures across various member states is expected to result in EU-15 consumption falling by 1one per cent to 6.94 million tonnes, with the strongest falls anticipated in the UK and Spain.

To date in 2011, European trade is being helped enormously by the strengthening in demand for beef in Turkey, Russia and other Middle Eastern and North African countries.

As a result, the EU is now a net exporter of beef with figures for the first eight months of 2011 showing net exports of 205,000 tonnes when offal and other by products are included.

Prospects for exports remain reasonably good but much will depend on import tariff levels in markets such as Turkey.

With supplies from the Mercosur region expected to remain tight, the EU is likely to remain a significant net exporter in 2012.

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