EU: Livestock breeders reduce livestock numbers

Livestock farms are among those hardest hit by record energy and input costs.

Despite high prices for beef, pork and poultry, the difficult conditions in which the livestock industry is currently experiencing have led to a limitation in production in these three sectors. In particular, according to the autumn short-term forecast report of the commission, in 2022 beef production in EU will decrease by 0.6%, the production of pork in the EU – by 5%, and the production of poultry meat – by 0.9%.

High prices are also weighing on EU exports of these products, with declines of 1%, 17% and 2.2% expected in 2022 for beef, pork and poultry, respectively.

Hot and dry weather this summer not only caused heat stress in cows, but also reduced the availability and quality of forage grass. To deal with this situation, farmers have adjusted feed availability, either by using what they stocked up for the winter months or by reducing livestock numbers. As a result, EU annual milk collection is expected to decrease by 0.5%.

The new year 2023 could be a challenging year for farmers facing higher production costs and less feed availability, while consumer demand is expected to ease due to higher food prices.

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