Thursday, 21 November 2019
By Rebecca Wright
It is well known that the EU imports some beef each year from third countries, but just how much actually enters the bloc? In the first nine months of 2019 EU imports of total beef* has declined 5% on-the-year, to 179,100 tonnes, averaging around 20,000 tonnes per month, according to Eurostat data. Just over 40% of this volume came from Brazil with Argentina providing a further 20%. To put this figure is context, every month the EU itself produces around 650,000 tonnes of beef.
Looking at trade by product type, almost 55% is fresh primary beef, with a further 30% being frozen primary beef. The vast majority of primary beef enters as boneless cuts. Around 16,500 tonnes was corned beef, almost exclusively supplied by Brazil, and much of that comes to the UK.
*Total beef includes fresh/frozen primary beef, processed beef and offal
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