The market conditions for EU agricultural produce are overall improving, as disruptions to the hospitality service diminish with progress in member states’ vaccination programmes, the summer edition of the European Commission’s short-term agricultural outlook has said.
A growth of 0.8% is expected for EU milk collection in 2021. Rainfall in May has increased forage production, supporting the grass quality and availability which will fuel the increase in milk output.
EU cheese and butter production is expected to grow by approximately 1% this year. The easing of restrictions in the hospitality sector should allow for this growth when supported by household demand for cheese and butter on the retail front.
EU production of fresh dairy products is expected to remain stable. This in particular is driven by stable production of drinking milk, for which EU exports continue to grow.
EU beef production is expected to decrease by 1.3% 2021 due to a lower demand from food services. Exports to high-value markets such as Canada and Japan should continue to increase on the back of recent free trade agreements.
EU pigmeat production should continue to grow in 2021, with a yearly rise of 1.7% expected. Even though exports to the UK dropped, overall EU pig meat exports should grow by 5% in 2021.
Avian influenza and high feed prices are hitting the major EU producers of poultry products. EU output is expected to shrink by 0.9% in 2021. Consumption is expected to increase as food services reopen.
EU sheep and goatmeat production should remain relatively stable in 2021, with only a 0.1% increase, despite EU-wide high prices. With demand, the reopening of food services should have a positive impact for the second half of 2021 on sheep meat.
Cereal production in the EU is expected to increase 3% on last year, mainly due to an increase in milling wheat and maize. Similarly, EU oilseed and protein crops production are expected to increase 9.5% compared to last year and 6.7% respectively.
Prices for the main arable crops have been subject to notable fluctuations this spring. This variations have been driven mainly by a high demand for cereals from China and the US and weather-related uncertainties.