Total meat production in the European Union (EU) will drop 2% in the next two years, according to a report published last Friday by the European Commission on the prospects for agricultural markets and income in the EU from 2012-2022.

The EU ban on sow stalls, which came into effect at the beginning of the year, is expected to be one cause of this decrease, according to a report filed by Global Meat News.

The drop follows an increase in EU meat production in 2010 and 2011. After the oncoming 2% drop, it will take 10 years for the EU meat sector to reach its 2011 production level of 49.5 million tons, the European Commission estimates.

Looking at product categories from 2011 to 2022, EU sheep meat production is expected to fall 16%; and there is a projected 4% reduction in beef production. And pig meat production would recover from the sow stall ban and remain roughly the same, at around 25 million tons. By contrast, poultry production is expected to increase by 4%.

According to the report, EU meat production in the coming decade will be driven by“increasing poultry and pork meat consumption, as well as by a firm external demand and higher prices.” However, pig meat is and will remain the meat Europeans prefer the most.

“On a per capita basis, EU meat consumption in 2022, at 182 lb., would be at approximately the same level as it was in 2009 and 1% lower than in 2011, despite the improved macroeconomic prospects,the report forecasts. From that, each European will consume 90 lb. of pig meat in 2022. The consumption of poultry that year is projected to be 53 lb. per capita, while the quantity of beef and veal consumed by each European will be 35 lb. In 2022, Europeans will consume less than 4 lb. of sheep and goat meat each.

The report predicts that the EU would see its share of global meat exports decline over the next 10 years, from 13.7% now to 10.1% in 2022.