High costs pressuring EU beef, swine sectors - GAIN report

High feed, energy prices and environmental restrictions problematic
calendar icon 14 March 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

High feed and energy prices and environmental restrictions are pressuring both cattle and swine farmers in the European Union (EU), leading to a reduction in operations, according to a recent USDA GAIN report

National implementation of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is not anticipated to curb the continued decline in beef production, as EU Member States are expected to increasingly focus on support for smaller farms. 

With lower domestic production, EU beef imports are forecast to recover to near pre-coronavirus levels in 2023. In addition to high input prices, the EU swine sector faces reduced domestic and export demand. 

The negative market factors collectively led to a record drop in the total swine and sow stock in 2022. With a smaller breeding herd, the supply of animals for slaughter is expected to fall this year. The lower availability of animals for slaughter will also compel the sector to restructure. In 2023, pork exports are projected to fall back to 2016-2019 levels.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.

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