July 8, 2020


EU beef production to drop this year



The European Commission has released the latest edition of its short-term outlook for agricultural markets, taking into consideration the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


As of 2020, the outlook refers to the EU27, excluding the UK.


Production of beef is expected to fall compared to 2019, by a greater extent than was forecast in the spring. This reflects reduced demand from foodservice due to COVID-19 lockdown measures, as well as lower cattle supplies. The dry spring is also expected to have restricted forage supplies, and so lighter carcase weights are expected, as producers decide to slaughter earlier to ease feed pressure.


The commission forecasts that EU27 beef exports will grow by 2%, and imports will fall by 7% year-on-year. The fall in imports is expected due to lower animal and meat availability for export in key supplier countries.


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the expected fall in domestic consumption, which is now forecast to fall by nearly 3% year-on-year.