EU beef production forecast to rise in 2016

28 April 2016

In 2015, the rise in EU beef production was estimated at 2.2% year-on-year, to 7.71 million tonnes cwe. The continued low milk prices and the ongoing restructure of milk production systems were the major reasons of high cow and heifer slaughter. EU beef production is expected to increase further in 2016, up 2% on year-ago levels, to 7.87 million tonnes cwe, largely driven by higher production in France, Ireland, the UK and Poland (EU Commission).

The recapitalisation of the dairy herd in most Member States is expected to come to a halt in 2016 and, as a result, fewer heifers and cows will be retained for increasing production capacity. Moreover, low milk prices in the EU may lead to further restructuring and culling of surplus cows and heifers, resulting in additional beef on the market.

EU beef consumption remains very dependent on availability and price. In 2015, an increase of 2% was registered in beef consumption, reaching 10.7kg/capita (retail weight) and it is forecast to rise a further 1.6% in 2016, to 10.9kg/capita.

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