DG AGRI Short-term outlook: EU exports expected to continue growing overall, pork production remains stable

DG AGRI Short-term outlook: EU exports expected to continue growing overall, pork production remains stable
04 Jul 2019

DG AGRI Short-term outlook: EU exports expected to continue growing overall, pork production remains stable

Brussels, Brussels Daily

EU exports of pork, beef, olive oil and dairy products are expected to continue increasing in 2019. Pork exports are especially driven by Chinese demand, while production is expected to stabilise. These are among the main findings of the latest short-term outlook report for EU agricultural markets, published on 3 July 2019 by the European Commission.

For 2019/2020, cereal production is expected to recover from last year’s low and reach 311 million tonnes, if good weather conditions sustain. Wheat production should increase by 11% and get to 142 million tonnes. Barley and maize production should respectively grow by 7% and 0.5%, reaching 60 million tonnes and 69 million tonnes.

EU exports of olive oil jumped in 2018/2019 thanks to an increase in production of 4%. As for 2019/2020, weather conditions are expected to support production recovery in Italy and Greece and sustain the increasing production trend in Portugal. However, in Spain, water limitations as well as the interannual alternance of olive trees could result in a drop in production below the 5-year average.

Production of peaches and nectarines could reach around 4.1 million tonnes in 2019, an increase of 4% compared to 2018, thanks to favourable weather conditions. However due to heavy rains and hail in some regions, it will not reach the record levels of 2017. This increase will contribute to a recovery of EU exports, which dropped by 38% in 2018.

As for the sugar sector, for 2019/2020, the sugar beet area is estimated to decrease by 4%, bringing it to 1.67 million hectares. Still, under the assumption of a yield close to average, production is expected to reach 18.3 million tonnes, an increase of 4% compared to last year. For the current 2018/2019 campaign, sugar imports are forecasted at the same levels as EU exports, at 1.7 million tonnes, balancing out the EU sugar trade.

The dairy sector sees sustained demand for EU dairy products, which should lead to an EU milk production growth of 1% in 2019. In addition, global demand for skimmed milk powder is high. EU public stocks are now empty and private stocks are expected back to low levels at the end of the year.

Furthermore, beef production is expected to decline by 1.2% in 2019 due to a reduction in cow herds and a low number of store cattle. This is mainly due exceptional high slaughterings in 2018 due to feed shortage. However, exports should increase by 15%, in the same period.

Poultry production will keep on growing in the EU in 2019, increasing by 2.5% after already a strong production growth in 2018. This sustained increased is thanks to good demand and high prices.

Demand for pigmeat should lead to an increase of 12% of EU exports in 2019. This growth in demand is especially coming from China due to the spread of African Swine Fever in the country. Production will nonetheless remain stable in the same period, due to a reduced breeding herd and environmental restrictions. In 2020, EU production is expected to grow around 1.4%.

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