Slow growth forecast for pigmeat production

EU pigmeat production is expected to experience only minimal growth over the next decade, according to the EU Commission’s new Medium-term Outlook report.

At 23.8 million tonnes, the output of pigmeat in 2025 is expected to be less than 2% higher than it is this year.

“Following a strong recovery in 2014 and 2015, pigmeat production is expected to expand by less than 2% by 2025 as compared with 2015,” highlighted the report. “In a context of slowly falling internal consumption, pigmeat exports are expected to grow steadily, supported by sustained world demand and slightly improving prices.”

This news comes after the pig industry has been struggling with low prices. Over the weekend, the European Livestock and Meat Trading Union wrote a letter to agriculture and rural development commissioner Phil Hogan to step up “technical dialogue” with Moscow to negotiate the re-entry of live pigs, pork fat, lard and offal.

Since the market was lost, EU producers have lost £3.5 billion, according to the European Livestock and Meat Trading Union.

The Medium-term Outlook report by the EU Commission pointed out that meat consumption within Europe is expected to increase in the coming year. “Thanks to economic recovery and slightly lower prices, overall per capita meat consumption in the EU recovered by a staggering 1.8kg in 2014,” it claimed.

“The rise is expected to pick up to 2016, to 67.6kg (retail weight), before resumption of the previous downward trend. By the end of the outlook period, per capita consumption is expected to fall back to 66.7kg, close to the 2008 level, with poultry meat taking small market shares from the other meat categories.”

Meanwhile, beef production is continuously being driven by dairy herd developments. Following the increase in 2014 and 2015, it is expected to decline at a slower rate to 7.6 million tonnes in 2025.

As a result of improved profitability and demand remaining steady in the face of higher prices, sheep and goatmeat production and consumption is expected to stabilise at the current level.

In addition, poultry production in the EU is forecast to grow over the outlook period by almost 4%, although consumption could increase only marginally. EU exports are expected to reach 1.6m tonnes by 2025, an increase of 15%, though prices will be under pressure, due to increased competition from Brazil and the US.

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