EU beef decline boosting imports

by Editor
Friday, March 27, 2009

EU beef production is forecast to decline slightly but continuously over the period from 2008 to 2015, by 400,000 tonnes to 7.9 million tonnes by 2015, according to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). This development is a consequence of the structural reduction in the cattle herd, caused by declining cattle prices and the further impact of payment decoupling.

In contrast to previous years, cattle prices reached record highs last year as a result of high demand and tight EU and import supplies, especially from Brazil and Argentina, due to traceability and export policy related issues.

Imports are expected to increase by 60% to 608,200 tonnes over the period, influenced by a slower decrease in consumption over production, declining exports and the gradual re-accession of Brazilian and Argentinean beef supplies after bottoming in 2008.