EU first quarter beef production steady – EBLEX
EU beef and veal production in the first quarter of 2014 is reported to be broadly level, compared to the same period last year, at almost 1,780 tonnes.
This is according to EBLEX, which also notes that higher production in a handful of key member states has been offset by reduced production in others. Output from key producers − France, Germany, UK and Ireland and Italy − are all forecast to be higher this year and, with the exception of France and Italy, the trend in these Member States is bearing this out in the year so far.
In terms of the outlook for beef, EBLEX says that demand could well remain somewhat subdued in the EU in 2014 although, if there is good summer weather it would help consumer demand for ground beef and steak cuts.
It says that the recent year-on-year increase in male cattle slaughterings could also come to an end by the second half of the year in key producing countries, such as Germany, and fall in France.
Interestingly EBLEX highlights that, by 2015, Irish cattle slaughterings should also start to fall.
Despite this, it comments that demand for beef at retail level will undoubtedly remain a critical issue which, in turn, will be influenced by the economic outlook, not only in the UK but also in the EU as a whole.