Beef production in the EU is dropping
Beef production in the European Union has dropped in 2020 to 6.8 million tonnes of beef, 1.2% down from 2019. Cattle slaughter overall was slightly above previous year's levels until April, when production was affected by the COVID-19 disruption. Then there was a recovery in June, possibly when some foodservice reopened, and production fluctuated around year-earlier levels for the remainder of the year, said a report from the European Commission.
Year-on-year changes in production affected the largest producing nations differently. Germany, Italy and Spain experienced declines, with Italy being the largest real decline, dropping 48,000 tonnes (-6%). On the other hand, Ireland increased its beef production by 2% (14,000 tonnes), along with the Netherlands. France reported a growth of 0.2% in beef, while Poland followed the downward trend (-0.2%).
Despite a decline in production, exports have performed well, especially in the Asian markets but also in Canada and the US. The increase in exports of fresh and frozen beef was 1.3%, which stands for a total volume of 461,000 tonnes shipped last year. 50,000 tonnes were sent to the British market, a volume unchanged compared to 2019. Imports have fallen by 21% due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, with the UK and Brazil being the largest suppliers affected by the restrictions imposed in the EU single market.
Germany produced 8.47 million tonnes of meat in 2020, 1.6% (142,000 tonnes) lower compared to 201...