EU sheep meat production forecast lower in 2020

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The European Commission has just published the latest edition of its short-term outlook for agricultural markets, reflecting the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. As of 2020 the outlook refers to the EU27, excluding the UK.

EU sheep meat production is now expected to fall year-on-year by 1.5%. Production was previously forecast to be stable on the year. The expected fall is due to the drop in foodservice demand caused by COVID-19 lockdown measures, as well as lower consumption during Easter and Ramadan celebrations.

The Commission forecasts that EU27 sheep meat exports will ease to be 2% above 2019 levels, due to expected tighter domestic supplies. Imports are now forecast to be down 5%, due to tighter availability in key supplier countries: the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

COVID-19 has accelerated the anticipated fall in domestic consumption, which is now forecast to fall by nearly 3% year-on-year.

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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