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Stable EU Beef Supplies Anticipated

10 November 2014


The latest European working beef forecasting group indicated that beef output will be up this year with a small decline in supplies expected for 2015, writes Eoin Kelly, Business Analyst at Bord Bia-Irish Food Board.

Beef output for 2014 in the EU-15 is expected to increase almost 4 per cent to 6.89 million tonnes, driven by increases in Italy, Germany, France and the UK. Irish supplies are expected to be over 13 per cent higher this year compared to previous levels.

Production increased particularly in countries where numbers of dairy cows are increasing to coincide with quota removal next year.

Outside of the EU-15, Poland is expected to see a decline in production this year, with a 6 per cent decline on 2013 levels expected.

Looking towards 2015, preliminary forecasts show beef output in the EU-15 region is expected to decrease by less than one per cent.

Production is likely to increase in France, Spain, Netherlands, and Belgium next year.

However production is anticipated to decline in Germany, Italy, the UK and Ireland.

Overall consumption levels within the EU fell last year by over two per cent, but this trend is set to be remain relatively stable this year, with a small decline of less than one per cent expected. Little change in consumption is expected in 2015.

The EU continues to be a net exporter of beef, however exports in 2013 were down 11 per cent on 2012 figures.

This decline is largely driven by a 28 per cent and 94 per cent reduction in exports to Russia and Turkey.

Declining exports have been offset somewhat by increased trade into African countries such as Algeria, and Asian markets such as Hong Kong.

The majority of beef imports into the EU continue to come from South America, followed by Oceania and USA.

Imports into the EU in 2013 were up by 9 per cent on 2012 figures, driven largely by a 15 per cent and 32 per cent increase in imports from Brazil and Australia respectively.

However, beef imports into the EU in 2013 were 40 per cent of the peak levels recorded in 2007.

For January to August this year imports from Brazil have remained stable, with other South American imports showing a decline. This has been offset somewhat by an increase in Australian imports by 29 per cent.

EU Beef Market Chart

November 2014

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