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European bovine slaughter figures (Jan-Mar 2022)

Published: 22 Jun, 2022

While some EU countries have already provided their slaughter statistics to the European database for the month of April, for most the most recent available data is for the month of March 2022. All data for the current year is still provisional.

For the EU-27, bovine slaughters in the first three months of the year (Q1) remain almost unchanged compared to those of Q1 2021 at 5.58 million head (+0.2%). The overall stability, however, is not the product of similar changes throughout the countries but rather the balancing out of growth in some and decline in others.

In more detail, it is interesting to note that among the main slaughtering countries of the EU (together accounting for almost three-quarters of the total), the top two countries, France and Germany, suffered a decline in the number of slaughtered bovines, down 4.6% and 9.8% respectively from Q1 2021. The other four countries all witnessed increases, as did the smaller producers (the remaining 21 members of the union) taken together.

The most eye-catching increase was recorded in Ireland (+9.4% at 476,000 head) and Spain (+6.8%, at 625,000 head). Italy, Romania and the smaller producers all showed rises in the 2-3% region in Q1 2022.

Taking into consideration the slaughter of younger bovines (calves) alone (up to 12 months of age), the Netherlands consolidates its leading position as the leading European country, with 385,000 head in Q1 2022 and an increase of 7.7% year-on-year. Second-placed France, on the other hand, suffered a 4.5% decline in the same period to 309,000 head, while the overall EU-27 witnessed a modest 0.8% increase over Q1 2021.

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