The trade body’s economic bulletin for Q4 2012 found that EU food and drink industry production fell by 0.36% in Q4 of 2012 compared to the previous quarter.
The drop was less pronounced than levels observed outside the industry as the overall EU manufacturing industrial production index decreased 2.3%.
Sugar and milk powder price hike
Many raw material prices fell during the quarter including, cocoa, coffee, soybean, rape and palm oil. However, prices for sugar, milk powder and soft wheat increased.
EU white sugar prices rose 2% in Q4 of 2012, while prices in the U.S. decreased by 19.4% over the same period.
Industry trade bodies such as European Sugar Users (CIUS) have previously complained that the EU’s sugar production quotas are failing to meet demand and are keeping prices high.
Skimmed milk prices rose 11.8% in Q4 and whole milk prices by 9.6% compared to the previous quarter.
Price drops: palm oil and cocoa
However, some commodity eased in Q4. The largest price drop came in palm oil and soybeans, which declined in price by 18.5% and 10.1%, respectively compared to Q3.
Cocoa prices dropped 1.7% coffee by 9.6% over the same period.
Where is production growing?
Ireland was the EU member state that grew its food and drink production index more than any other nation. Production rose 7.31% in Ireland, while Estonia and Germany also exceeded positive growth rates of the previous quarter.
Bulgaria (-2.84%), Spain (-1.35%) and Finland (-0.75%) continued their negative production trend of the previous quarter.