EU beef prices stay at record level

Overall production expected to decline in 2022
calendar icon 10 October 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

According to the EU's most recent short-term outlook report, which is based on reflections of market experts within the European Commission's Department for Agriculture and Rural Development, the strong EU beef price increase, which started already halfway in 2021, reached in May 2022 a level of almost EUR 500/100kg and continued at this high level during the next four months. This is more than EUR 100 higher compared to the average price in previous years.

In Jan-Jun, EU beef production declined by 0.6% year-on-year. The number of animals slaughtered increased by 0.4% but this was overtaken by a decrease of 1% on average in carcass weight. This could indicate a partly anticipation of slaughterings of the second half of 2022 to the first half. This aggregated decline, though, hides different dynamics among EU countries. France and Germany show clearly the effect of the decline in cow numbers over the years, resulting in a lower potential to slaughter animals. On the contrary, Italy, Spain and Ireland saw their cow numbers upward in the last years and can therefore slaughter more animals.

Continuing high feed prices and lower availability of forage may lead to additional slaughterings by the end of the year, similar to the high level in the second half of 2021. Therefore, overall production is expected to continue the declining path in 2022 by 0.6% and stabilise in 2023 if feed availability turns back to normal levels.

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