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Market outlook - Meat & eggs

Increase in Dutch production and export of beef and downward trend in per capita consumption of pork

Due to expected development in the dairy industry Dutch beef production and exports are expected to increase. The pig sector has to deal with stagnation and decline. The per capita consumption of pork in the Netherlands shows a declining trend. Per capita consumption of beef is stagnating, while that of poultry meat is increasing.

As a result of the slow recovery of economic growth has in recent years been a modest growth in demand for meat. As a result, there is pressure on prices. Because at the same time feed prices (main cost factor) are low, many producers still achieve a reasonable margin and continue to increase supply (growth rate is approximately 1.5% per year). Chicken meat, a relatively inexpensive type of meat, is the most important growth engine in the meat complex. Pork production still shows some growth (in particular China), but the growth opportunities seem limited for years to come. This means that the competitive pressure will remain high, both for the EU and the Netherlands. The Dutch pig sector has a relatively high cost of production, which it combines with a high productivity. The per capita consumption of pork and beef in the Netherlands and the EU shows a downward trend, while the number of consumers barely increased (low population).

World market prices for beef, pork and poultry meat are expected to decline this year. For the EU the pork price benefitted from the demand from China for EU pig meat. The price of pork may possibly show a slight increase in the future. In contrast, prices of beef and poultry meat are expected to decline. As such the competitiveness of pork will deteriorate relative to that the other meats.

Because in recent years the dairy cattle population has increased in the Netherlands, beef and veal production in the coming years is expected to be at a higher level than before. Adjustments in the dairy herd as a result of the phosphate regulation is likely to lead to a (temporary) additional increase in the number of animals slaughtered and a subsequent increase in beef production. This is likely to have a negative impact on the short run price evolution of Dutch beef prices.

As regards the pig sector, given the disappointing price development and high competitive pressure in the EU, production is difficult to maintain and stagnation is expected. In contrast, broiler production is expected to increase, in spite of the disappointing price developments. A contributing factor is the high productivity growth in broiler production.

Feed prices are expected to remain fairly stable for the first coming years. After a few years they are likely to gradually increase under the pressure of rising corn and soybean prices. However, the price increase is expect to be limited.

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