BELGIUM, Brussels. The high demand in China is resulting in a lower volume of European business for the export nations. Deliveries from Brazil shrank particularly sharply.
Last year, less beef from third countries entered the EU internal market than in 2018, and according to the Brussels Commission, beef imports including by-products fell by 6.6% to 318,420 t carcass weight (SG). Brazil remained the most important supplier for the EU. However, the country recorded an 8.5% drop in sales compared to the previous year to 128,340 t. The good alternative marketing opportunities in China were probably one reason for this. Deliveries from Uruguay fell even more sharply, by 16.3% to 43,880 t, while Argentina expanded its exports to the domestic market by 2.3% to 71,610 t.
Many other suppliers also sold less beef to EU customers in 2019. The volume purchased from Australia, for example, fell by almost 10% year-on-year to 18,800 t. In the case of the USA, imports fell by 12.5% to 16,900 t. In contrast, two countries were able to increase their exports to the European Community significantly. Namibia increased its beef sales into the EU by 86.5% to 10,420 t, Canada by 87.5% to 2,520 t. In total, EU importers spent almost €1.8 bn. on third country products, 87 mill. or 4.6% less than in 2018.