European Union meat exports are poised to rise – with poultry shipments to hit record highs – despite the dent to demand, particularly to pork volumes, from Russia’s ban on imports from the bloc.
EU pork imports tumbled by 12.7% last year to 1.92m tonnes thanks to Russia’s curbs on purchases of the meat from the bloc – sanctions which actually started in February 2014, thanks to a disease outbreak in some eastern European countries.
Russia’s main ban on food imports from the EU, and some other Western exporters, began in August, in retaliation for sanctions against Russia for its role in stoking unrest in Ukraine.
“In 2014, Russia accounted for a mere 3% of EU pig meat exports, compared to 33% a year earlier,” the commission said.
“Strong demand from the Asian markets, particularly from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines, did not fully compensate for the loss of the Russian market.”
However, EU pork exports will rebound by 5.0% this year to 2.02m tonnes, and expand in 2016 by 6.0% to 2.14m tonnes, the commission said.
“Prospects of higher pig meat supplies and strong demand from Asia could support a recovery so that exports could reach the 2012 level by 2016.”
Lower feed prices and a sector recovery from a downturn fuelled by the enforcement of tighter animal welfare rules have begun to fuel a rebound in EU pork production, after declines in 2012 and 2013.
EU beef exports too will build on growth last year of 29% to 46,000 tonnes in volumes, despite the Russian import curbs, with shipments rising to Hong Kong and the new market of the Philippines.
“In 2015, other destinations look also promising, like the US, given that Ireland got official clearance to export beef there, and shipments to Turkey seem to resume slowly,” the commission said.
Supplies of beef, meanwhile, will be supported by culling of dairy cows, which have risen as producers in some countries attempt to slow milk output and avoid penalties for exceeding quotas.
EU beef exports will rise 8.0% to 224,000 tonnes this year, and by 3.0% to 231,000 tonnes in 2016.
‘The success story’
However, the commission termed the poultry sector “the success story” in EU meat, with “solid demand” to encourage a continued rise in meat production by 1.1% to 13.39m tonnes this year, and 13.56m tonnes in 2016.
Exports will hit a record 1.38m tonnes this year, and set a fresh high of 1.45m tonnes in 2016.
“Despite a number of factors that could have heavily affected the export market in 2014,” including Russia’s import ban, “EU shipments of poultry products performed remarkably,” the commission said, noting a 25% jump in exports to South Africa, a 17% rise in volumes sold to Benin and a 13.5% increase in sales to Hong Kong.
“Prospects of increased production in Brazil and the US, the EU’s main competitors on the world market, could limit the export pace of increase in 2015 to around 2%.
“However, a potential pick-up in exports towards the Saudi Arabian market in the near futures might bring EU export to 1.4m tonnes by 2016.”
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/eu-beef-pork-poultry-exports-to-rise-despite-russia-curbs)