EU beef and lamb production: 2022 first half overview

Friday, 7 October 2022

With quarter two figures now available, we can see how EU beef and lamb production has fared during the first half of 2022.

Note: data for Greece for the month of June is still yet to be submitted, however we can look at overall trends.


Excluding Greece (which makes up approximately 0.5% of monthly EU beef production), total EU beef production for the first half of 2022 was 0.7% lower year-on-year, at 3.3 million tonnes.

Looking at the top producers in the bloc, beef production levels were mixed during the first half of 2022 compared to a year ago. Production in the two largest producers was lower, with Germany down 9% (-49,000 tonnes) and France down 4% (-31,000 tonnes). Output also declined in the Netherlands and Belgium, but to lesser extents.

Elsewhere, Spain (+7%), Ireland (+8%) and Italy (+5%) grew their production levels. Polish production remained largely flat year-on-year.

Graph showing year on year change in EU beef production Jan-Jun 2022

Sheep meat

Figures for sheep meat production in Greece are missing for June, only allowing for comparisons of production for the first five months of the year. Between Jan-May, total EU sheep meat production rose 1% year-on-year to approximately 182,000 tonnes. The main uplift was in Irish production, up 17% (+4,600 tonnes) year-on-year. The Irish breeding sheep flock has shown continued growth, according to the latest census results. Output also rose in Italy (+10%, +1,300 tonnes) and Spain (+1%, +500 tonnes).

Greece is one of the larger producers of sheep meat in the EU, typically making up 12% of monthly EU production.  Data available for the first five months of the year showed that Greece’s production fell 6% (-1,600 tonnes) year-on-year. If this trend continued into June, this would translate to a lower rate of growth for the EU in total for the first half of the year. Production will have still increased year on year, although by only 0.5%.

Graph showing year-on-year change in EU sheep meat production Jan-May 2022

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