Pork is the most popular type of meat in almost every country in the European Union, according to a recent survey. The only exception is the United Kingdom, where poultry meat is slightly more popular than pork.

Spain has the largest annual per capita consumption of pork at 153 pounds. Germany also has a high pork consumption rate per person at 120 pounds. These figures are released in Livestock, Meat and Egg Statistics 2003, recently published by the Product Boards for Livestock, Meat and Eggs.

Although these numbers are impressive, actual consumption rates were found to be about half of the calculated figure because bone-in meat and pet food use are included in the data.

Other EU countries showing slight increases in pork consumption are Spain, Germany, and Italy. Consumption in the European Union as a whole stabilized at 96 pounds per person.

Pork consumption forecasts aren’t available for 2004. Analysts predict, however, that outbreaks of avian influenza in Asia, Canada, and the United States, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy problems in Canada and the United States will have an impact on world trade in poultry meat and beef, most likely until the end of 2004. As a result, international demand for pork will be higher in 2004 than in 2003.

The addition of 10 new member states to the European Union on May 1, 2004 will probably be another factor in boosting sales of pork to these countries. Selling prices also are expected to be higher in 2004.