In its ‘Projections for the agricultural markets 2007-2014’, the commission adds the forecast that EU pork output will rise to 22.325 million tons in 2010 and 22.677 million tons in 2014, so showing a 2% increase overall from present levels in the face of competition from poultrymeat and difficulties with high feed costs.

The document sees annual imports of pork into the European market increasing initially from last year’s total of about 30 000 tons to 38 000 tons in 2010 before remaining at that rate for the next 4 years. Exports are seen reducing from 1.304 million tons in 2007 to 1.213 million tons in 2010 and again up to 2014 to 1.176 million tons.

The outlook for pigmeat uptake in the EU states is therefore shown as edging upwards. About 20.86 million tons were consumed in the community in 2007. This looks likely to become 21.151 million tons in 2010 and 21.539 million tons in 2014, says the commission. It will mean a change in the average amount per person/year from 42.4kg last year to 43.4kg by 2014 when considering all of the present European Union, but the commission predicts the rate per person/year will increase by 2kg in the member states of eastern Europe under the influence of higher incomes in that area.