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Sheep and goats

Sheepmeat and goatmeat

The European Union is far from being self-sufficient in the sheepmeat and goatmeat sector and imports considerable quantities, mainly from New Zeeland and Australia. Sheepmeat and goatmeat belong to the products covered by the Single Common Market Organisation.

With around 98 million heads in 2013 (December survey: 85% sheep and 14% goats) and a total annual production of about 925 000 tonnes carcass weight, the EU is far from been self-sufficient for this sector.


The UK (Scotland leading), Spain, Greece and France are the main producing Member States. These four represent together already 68% of the EU's total production. Romania, Ireland, Germany and Italy count for another 22%, which leaves a small 10% for all the remaining Member States.


With its 88% self-sufficiency, the EU exports around 8% of its total production, while imports are around 212 000 tonnes mainly from New Zealand and Australia (94%), which is around 23% the EU's own consumption.


Over the last years, exports of live animals and meat increased. Live animals go mainly to the Middle East and North Africa. Exports of meat and meat products go to all destinations and in greater extent to the Far East.