European Commission bets on healthy beef market into 2012

THE EUROPEAN Commission is predicting that the healthy state of the EU' beef market will continue until 2012, with demand outstripping production.

In its latest medium-term food market forecast, the Commission said pig and poultry production and consumption should "keep growing over the medium term, though at a lower pace than in the 1990s".

That said these projections do not take into account any damage to demand caused by bird flu. Looking at the details, the Commission says EU beef production will actually fall, to 7.7 million tonnes in 2012, down from 8 million tonnes this year, while consumption remains steady, at around 8.1 million tonnes.

By contrast, pigmeat production is projected to rise slightly, from 21.2 to 21.9 million tonnes in 2012; while poultry demand will increase from 10.8 to 11.4 million tonnes (2006-12).

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