The EU has published a medium-term Agricultural Outlook for the years up to 2025.The report suggests population and economic growth in developing countries are expected to support higher meat demand and contribute to higher EU meat exports.
World meat consumption is expected to increase by 15 per cent between 2015 and 2025, less than in the previous decade, but still equivalent to a year's total meat production in the EU.
Thanks to economic recovery and slightly lower prices, overall per capita meat consumption in the EU recovered by a staggering 1.8 kg in 2014.
The rise is expected to pick up to 2016, to 67.6 kg (retail weight), before resumption of the previous downward trend.
By the end of the outlook period, per capita consumption is expected to fall back to 66.7 kg, close to the 2008 level, with poultry meat taking small market shares from the other meat categories.
EU beef production continues to be driven mainly by dairy herd developments. After the increase in 2014 and 2015, it is expected to fall back into decline albeit at a slower rate, to 7.6 million t in 2025.
After decreasing over several years, sheep and goat meat production and consumption are expected to stabilise at the current level thanks to improved profitability and demand remaining steady despite higher prices.
Following a strong recovery in 2014 and 2015, pigmeat production is expected to expand by less than 2 per cent by 2025 as compared with 2015.
In a context of slowly falling internal consumption, pigmeat exports are expected to grow steadily, supported by sustained world demand and slightly improving prices.
EU poultry meat production is expected to expand over the outlook period by close to 4 per cent, while consumption could increase only marginally.
Driven by promising growth in world import demand, EU exports are expected to reach 1.6 million t by 2025 (+15 per cent) but prices will be under pressure as a result of increased competition from Brazil and the USA.