Compound feed production in the European Union (EU) in 2018 reached 161.5 million metric tons (mmt), or 0.8 percent more than the previous year, according to provisional estimates.
The figure covers feeds for farmed animals — predominantly poultry, pigs and cattle — in 25 of the 28 states belonging to the EU, and is based on data from members of the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Association, FEFAC.
Germany remained at the head of the rankings once again, despite a slight drop in overall production in 2018 compared with the previous year. Output was also down slightly in Spain and the Netherlands, while production in France and Italy remained almost unchanged. The U.K. achieved a 4 percent increase in feed volume.
For the fifth consecutive year, Poland achieved the greatest increase in total production — by 5.5 percent, supported by strong demand from the poultry, pig and dairy sectors.
Output by species
Of the species groups, poultry continued to account for the largest compound feed tonnage at 55.5 mmt — 1 percent more than in 2017. According to FEFAC, strong demand from the Polish poultry sector increased feed output in this country and category by 5 percent, and the French industry continued to recover from the previous year’s avian influenza outbreaks.
Compared with the previous year, 2018 EU pig feed output was down by 1 percent at 51 mmt despite an increase in total pork production. FEFAC attributed the decrease to a “sharp reduction” in sow numbers in several countries as the result of lower pork prices in the second half of the year.
Poor weather conditions in Europe last affected impacted the cattle feed sector. As drought and unusually high temperatures slowed forage growth, compound feed output expanded by two percent from the previous year to 46 mmt.
FEFAC’s forecast for 2019 point to a decline in overall feed output of about 0.5 percent. For poultry, the figure could be as much as 1 percent higher if Brazil’s recovery in international trade continues to be gradual.
Increasingly stringent welfare standards in the EU on top of reduced sow numbers are expected to hold back demand for pig feeds this year.
After several years of rising demand, EU cattle feed is forecast by FEFAC members to be down by 2 percent in 2019.
Global animal feed production increased 3 percent in 2018 to reach 1.103 billion metric tons, according to the latest Global Feed Survey from Alltech. Led by China, eight countries account for 55 percent of the world total output. Spain was the only EU state among this leading group.