Latest EU Outlook: Good Harvests; Rising Milk, Meat Output06 March 2014
EU - In its latest short-term agricultural market outlook, the European Commission expects good harvests, rising meat and milk production.
Prospects for the 2014 harvest are good as the winter climatic conditions have been broadly favourable so far, according to the Commission's Winter 2014 'Short-Term Agricultural Outlook'.
This, combined with the good 2013 cereal harvest, will allow for some recovery in stocks by the end of the 2013/14 marketing year, bringing the stock-to-use ratio to 12.2 per cent (compared to 10.3 per cent in the previous marketing year).
EU cereals exports could reach a record level, possibly exceeding 37 million tonnes.
In the livestock sectors, following two successive years of reduction in domestic beef and pork supply, EU meat production and consumption are expected to recover in 2014.
For the dairy sector, the 2013 high milk prices have stimulated an increase in milk production likely to continue in the short run. Though no significant surge in milk production is expected in 2015 after the quota system expires, increased milk availability should allow for new export opportunities on world markets, in particular for milk powders and cheese.
Forecasts by Sector
Good 2013 cereal harvest allows for partial stock recovery and record exports
The good 2013 cereal harvest (+8.3 per cent with respect to 2012) should allow for a recovery in stocks by the end of the 2013/14 marketing year; yet stocks are expected to remain below average as EU exports could reach a record level, exceeding 37 million tonnes.
Early estimates for 2014 sowings indicate a slight increase in cereal area (+0.8 per cent), mainly due to soft wheat (+2.8 per cent).
Meat consumption is expected to increase in the short run, thanks to improvements in the economy and of meat availability
Following two successive years of contracted beef and pork domestic supply and demand, EU meat production and consumption is expected to recover in 2014.
Some re-building of the dairy herd should lead to higher beef meat supply, while increased productivity in the pig meat sector could allow production to recover, following the strong decline in the sow herd observed in 2012 and 2013 linked to the implementation of the new EU welfare rules for sows.
High EU milk prices stimulated an increase in 2013 milk production
High milk prices, induced by strong global demand, have triggered a significant rebound in milk production in the second half of 2013, more than offsetting the decrease of the first months of the year.
The number of EU dairy cows increased significantly in 2013, thus leading to expectations that milk collection should increase in both 2014 and 2015.
Although no significant surge in milk production is expected after the quota system is abolished, higher milk availability should allow grasping export opportunities in world markets, in particular for milk powders and cheese.
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