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Pigmeat consumption in Europe

by 5m Editor
15 April 2004, at 12:00am

THE NETHERLANDS - Pigmeat is the most popular type of meat in almost every country in the European Union. The only exception is the UK, where poultry meat just tips the balance.

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Spain has the largest consumption per capita, with 69.6 kg. Germany also has a high pigmeat consumption per person (54.7 kg). These figures emerge from a brochure entitled Livestock, Meat and Egg Statistics 2003, recently published by the Product Boards for Livestock, Meat and Eggs (PVE).

The PVE has prepared the pigmeat consumption figures in the European Union on the basis of Eurostat data and the national statistics of the EU member states. A little circumspection is required in interpreting the data, however.

In practice, for instance, it has been found that the actual consumption of meat is much lower than calculated. Consumption is in fact calculated on the basis of bone-in meat and includes the use of meat as pet food. Calculations in the Netherlands have demonstrated that actual consumption is about half the calculated figure.

In Spain, Germany and Italy there was a slight increase in the consumption of pigmeat in 2003. Consumption in the European Union as a whole stabilised at 43.8 kg per person (see graph).


The PVE has not made any forecast for pigmeat consumption in 2004. They do, however, expect that the outbreaks of bird flu in Asia, Canada and the US and the BSE problems in Canada and the US will have an impact on world trade in poultry meat and beef, most likely until the end of 2004.

As a result, international demand for pigmeat will be higher in 2004 than in 2003. The accession of ten new EU member states on 1 May 2004 will probably be another factor in boosting sales of pigmeat to these countries. Selling prices are consequently expected to be higher in 2004 than in the previous year.

Source: Dutch Meat Board - 15th April 2003

5m Editor