In Belgium, end consumer prices for beef have not stopped their upward trend in recent years, with an increase of 28% since 2005. This emerges from a study of the beef sector completed by the FPS Economy. Despite this high increase in the price of beef in shops, the sector’s profitability remains under pressure. The consumption of beef is decreasing, Belgium having consumed nearly 25% less beef than in 2008, the FPS Finance is saying today (Friday).
Belgians bought on average 31 kilogrammes of meat in 2014, compared to 35 kilogrammes en 2008 (a decrease of -11,2 %). Beef has followed this negative trend since Belgians bought, in 2014, on average five kilogrammes of beef meat or 22.7 % less than in 2008. The conclusions of the study are that cattle production remains unprofitable.
Cattle farmers and the animal compound feed industry are the least profitable in the beef sector. The retail trade, on the other hand, appears to have the most beef, being the most profitable link in the production chain. In 2014, there were still 21,147 cattle rearers, which corresponds to 45% less than in 2000. Despite this increase in concentration in beef rearing, the profitability of cattle rearing is still under pressure.
“The main reason is the decrease in the sale price of beef carcasses in recent years. Fortunately, the cost of food has also decreased,” concludes Chantal De Pauw, the spokeswoman for the FPS Economy. During the period 2010-2014, the production value of beef represented on average 1.1 billion euros, or 14% of the total production value of Belgian agriculture.