The Short-term outlook is based on reflections of market experts within the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, using the latest data available. It is published three times per year (in late winter, early summer and early autumn).
Favourable climatic conditions allowed EU cereal production to reach a new record level in 2014/15, thanks to increases in areas and significantly higher yields for the main cereals. Stocks are expected to further recover, bringing the stock to use ratio up to 18%. The expected high production of white sugar in 2014/15 implies that significant stocks are to be released to the market in 2015/16, and a contraction of the sugar beet production is expected in 2015/16.
In the dairy sector, 2014 saw an exceptional rise in milk supply, both in the EU and worldwide. This led to a significant price decrease, exacerbated by the Russian import ban. EU exports performed very well, thus limiting stock accumulation. Substantial differences between Member States were observed though. The current recovery in dairy commodity prices should lead to a stabilisation and then an increase of the EU milk price. However, no surge in milk production is expected in 2015 over the 2014 record, despite the quota expiry in April.
The expansion of the EU dairy- and suckler-cow herds leaves room for increased beef production and exports in a period of high world prices. Despite low output prices, pig meat production is expected to recover, supported by lower feed prices and increased productivity. In the poultry meat sector, production, trade and consumption are continuously increasing. A stabilising herd, firm prices and the new voluntary coupled support give the sheep sector a positive outlook.