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A glut of supply will keep EU red meat prices low this year, according to new analysis from the US Department of Agriculture.

European beef and pork production rocketed in 2015, and high production levels are expected to continue throughout 2016, the report from the USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Network predicts.

It attributes booming beef production last year to the abolition of the EU dairy quota, which resulted in an expansion of the European dairy herd and a “surge” in cow slaughter after milk prices plummeted.

The EU beef herd also expanded due to low feed prices and high slaughter weights, resulting in a surplus of beef in 2015, particularly low quality cow beef.

Many of these factors are still in play in Europe, and the report estimates EU-28 beef production will increase from 7.67 million tonnes in 2015 to 7.70 million in 2016. “With stagnating domestic consumption, and without Russia as an export outlet, this supply is stockpiled and pushing domestic prices downward,” it says.

There is a similar story for EU pork, which hit record production levels in 2015 following big investments in the breeding sector. “Based on official January-November figures, slaughter increased by seven million animals in 2015,” says the report, which adds average pig carcase weights increased from 89.1kg to nearly 89.8kg.

Although lower prices should force a small drop in piglet supply this year, EU pork production is expected to remain high at 23.24 million tonnes in 2016 - only a slight drop from last year’s record 23.36 million tonnes. “The domestic and world market will be unable to absorb this supply,” notes the report, which predicts the high volumes of pork stockpiled through the EU PSA scheme and privately will keep EU pork prices low this year.