EU beef production lower in March, exports down too

Friday, 5 June 2020


Beef production in the EU was down 0.4% in March compared to the previous year. This brings production for the first quarter to 1.7 million tonnes, up 0.3% on Q1 2019.

Production in several of the larger producing European counties was up in March compared the previous year, France by 1.3%, Ireland 6.3% and Spain 3.6%. This was countered by reductions in production in Italy (-14.4%) and Poland (-2.6%). Production in Germany, the EU’s second largest beef producer was stable in March compared to 2019. (It is worth noting that this data reflects a time period before and in the very early stages of coronavirus restrictions).


EU export volumes were down in March with exports falling 9% in volume to 34,700 tonnes. Exports fell by less in value terms (-6%) supported by an increase in the average unit price. This brought the volume of EU exports for the whole of Q1 to 107,900 tonnes a fall of 1%. The value of these imports was up 1% to €479.9 million.


Import volumes for the EU were down 32% in March to 12,900 tonnes. Imports reduced from the EU’s three biggest suppliers, Brazil (-16%), Argentina (-1%) and the UK (-67%). Imports from the US increased 648% to 1,600 tonnes. Value also fell in March, but by a smaller amount, 13%, due to an increase in average prices. For Q1 as a whole imports fell 22% in volume to 57,500 tonnes. Much of this reduction came from a 39% (11,800 tonnes) reduction from the UK. In value terms the cost of imports was down only 8% due to the increase in average unit prices.


Jennie Tanner

Analyst - Dairy & Livestock

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