EU imports of both beef and sheepmeat have decreased throughout 2012, with beef imports down 6% for the first six months of 2012, while sheepmeat imports are back 32% (Global Trade Atlas – GTA).
With imports lower and domestic EU beef production forecast to contract 4% in 2012, along with stable sheepmeat production (EU Commission), the red meat supply situation within the EU appears increasingly tight.
EU beef imports totalled 88,855 tonnes as at the end of June, 23% below the five-year average.
The largest reduction in volume was from South America, with Brazilian imports down 23% year-on-year, while shipments from Uruguay contracted 9%.
In contrast, imports of Australia beef increased 12% year-on-year, as an increase in grainfed shipments underpinned more Australian product for the market.
Australia’s market share for the six month period stood at 7%, up from 6% in 2011.
Argentina was the largest supplier of beef with a 26% market share, followed by Uruguay (25%) and Brazil (21%).
Sheepmeat imports totalled 87,748 tonnes, 33% below the five year average. Imports from NZ declined 20% year-on-year, while shipments from Australia dropped 13%.
Australia and New Zealand continue to dominate imported market share, with New Zealand’s market share at 88%, while Australian market share stood at 6%.
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