Growth Expected For Greek Dairy, Not Beef

GREECE - Strong growth is expected for the poultry sector and cheese production, while pork and beef are on the decline.
calendar icon 4 February 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

More so than most other European nations, swathes of Greek agriculture have changed little for hundreds of years, according to the report Greece Agribusiness Report Q1 2010 from Research and Markets. Livestock and dairy farming are highly fragmented, with small farmers still responsible for a large portion of production. The country is home to a large number of Controlled Denomination of Origin (DOC) products, particularly cheeses, and larger producers are having increasing success selling them in export markets. Greek consumption patterns are changing, too. Convenience products and health are increasingly factoring in to Greek consumer choices.

Greek dairy production is expected to experience mixed growth over our forecast period, with cheese leading the way. We estimate cheese production in 2009 to have reached 214,000 tonnes. This is set to experience dramatic growth over our forecast period, rising 35 per cent to hit 289,000 tonnes in 2014. This growth will be driven by increasing incomes as well as export demand, as foreign markets take more interest in the country's large range of Controlled Denomination of Origin (DOC) cheeses. In contrast to other EU countries, Greece produces a large number of cheeses from goat and sheep's milk, rather than cow's milk. As well as the well-known feta, these include Anthotiros, Graviera and Manouri. Growing interest in exotic foods in the EU markets and the US will boost demand for these products. Milk production should increase slightly in 2010, up to 2.08 million tonnes. Over the forecast period, production should head up to 2.15 million tonnes in 2014 as yields increase. Average yield increased from 179.3kg per animal in 2000-2003 to 180.4kg per animal in 2004-2007, a trend which is likely to continue. In addition, until now Greece has produced less than its EU milk quota, but the gradual one per cent increase in quota until abolition of the quota system in 2015 might spur a slight production increase.

As in many other EU markets, strong poultry growth is predicted over the forecast period, as tightening incomes as well as health concerns boost demand. Poultry production for 2009 is estimated at 180,000 tonnes. This is set to rise by almost a fifth, increasing by 19.4 per cent to reach 216,000 tonnes in 2014. Production of both pork and beef is on the decline. Unless there is increased investment in the sector, pork production is expected to fall from this year's 114,000 tonnes to 90,000 tonnes in 2014, a drop of 20.6 per cent over the forecast period. Meanwhile, the Greek climate and terrain is not the most suitable for raising cattle. Since 2006, beef production has been falling as imports from more efficient producers within the EU are increasingly preferred by consumers. In 2009, production is estimated to have sunk to 56,600 tonnes and will contract by 2.4 per cent to 55,200 tonnes by 2014.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

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