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In 2020, EU beef production fell but exports increased

The EU produced 6.8 million tonnes of beef in 2020, 1.2% less than the previous year, according to data from the European Commission. This is a smaller drop than the Commission anticipated in its short-term outlook last autumn.

Germany, Italy and Spain experienced declines, Italy being the largest decrease with 48,000 tons less (-6%). Italy has been one of the most affected EU countries during the pandemic and was one of the first to impose national lockdown measures.

Despite lower production in 2020, the EU increased its exports of fresh and frozen beef by 1.3% over the previous year to 461,000 tonnes, slightly more than expected before Christmas. Just over 50% of this beef went to the UK, with volumes virtually unchanged from the previous year.

The European Commission expects EU beef production to decline, driven by declining numbers of dairy and suckler cows. However, falling EU consumption and rising global demand for beef are expected to support the bloc’s export levels.

More information in Eurocarne and Revista Cárnica