With an increase in production and a strong world demand, EU olive oil exports are to reach record levels in 2018/19. Cereal production in the EU is expected to recover over the same period. These are among the main findings of the latest short-term outlook report for EU agricultural markets, published on 17 April 2019 by the European Commission.
Mainly due to a significant increase in Spanish olive oil production (1.7 million t, the second highest since 2003), EU production is expected to grow by 2.9% for 2018/19. Increasing world demand and lower supply from non-EU countries should lead to a rise in EU exports of 11%, reaching 625,000 t.
As for the dairy sector, milk production is expected to increase by 0.7% in 2019, forecasted at 167.3 million t compared with 166.4 million t in 2018. This increase should be met by a sustained global demand. Cheese is the most consumed dairy product on the EU market and its consumption is expected to keep increasing slightly in 2019, rising by 0.5%. Outside the EU, cheese exports are expected to grow by 1% in 2019, contributing to the production increase of 0.8% – reaching 10,705 million t from 10,624 million t in 2018.
In 2019/20, cereal production in the EU is expected to recover from the previous harvest that was severely impacted by the adverse climatic conditions. It is forecasted at 307.5 million t, compared with 290.5 million t in 2018/19. A slight increase in total EU cereal area is also expected compared to last season, reaching 55.8 million ha in 2019, compared to 55.1 million ha in 2018. It is still 1% below the five-year average.
Due to adverse weather conditions, sugar production in 2018/19 is estimated at 17.6 million t, 17% lower than in 2017/18. This decrease is expected to contribute to a significant fall in EU sugar exports, forecasted at 1.7 million t.
Last year’s summer drought led to an increase in beef production in 2018, due to the shortage of feed and early slaughter of cows. This also resulted in a decrease of cow herds by 1.3%. In 2019, beef production is expected to fall to 8.1 million t in 2019, from 8.2 million t in 2018. EU beef consumption will also decline in 2019, from 11kg to 10.8kg per capita (retail weight), mainly due to lower supply.
In 2018, poultry meat production rose by close to 5% due to favourable international conditions and higher prices. However, in 2019, production growth will be more moderate, forecasted at 2%, due to prices adjusting. As for pigmeat, in 2019 prices are rising as supply tightens. In addition, export prospects are improving, especially towards China.
Finally EU sheep and goat meat decreased in 2018 by 1%, estimated at 915,000 t. It is expected to decline further in 2019, by 1% and reach 906,000 t.
The updated and refreshed short term outlook report, presented as more readable and user friendly, with analysis and statistics by market, is now available.
17 April 2019