Cattle feed production saw the largest declines, while poultry feed production was up slightly
Compound feed production in the EU was down almost 1% in 2019 from the previous year, according to the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC).
Industrial compound feed production in the EU-28 in 2019 was and estimated 163.3 million metric tons, down 0.9% from 2018. Cattle feed production saw the largest decrease, while poultry feed production was up slightly.
Cattle feed production was down 2.2% from 2018, “when drought conditions led to the poor forage harvests which were compensated by demand for feed grains and compound feed,” FEFAC said. Ireland saw the biggest decrease – 18%. Better weather conditions in 2019 brought about more normal cattle feed demand.
Pig feed production was down 0.5%, mainly due to outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) across the continent. Romania and Bulgaria, both of which have seen numerous ASF cases, saw decreases of 20% and 9%, respectively. Countries reportedly free of ASF saw pig feed production in 2019 at the same or slightly higher levels than in 2018.
Poultry feed production saw a slight increase of 0.1% from 2018, due to an increase in poultry meat imports and feed efficiency gains.
“EU poultry feed production remains the leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production, well ahead of pig feed,” FEFAC said.
COVID-19-related outlook for 2020
FEFAC said the poultry industry reacted faster than others to the lockdown measures to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, resulting in a significant reduction in poultry feed demand. In some countries, the expected loss in production is estimated to be up to 10%, while overall, EU poultry feed production is expected to fall 5.2%. FEFAC said the downward trend is also driven by an oversupply due to the import of poultry products into the EU from third countries and new outbreaks of avian influenza in Central and Southeastern Europe and Ireland.
Pig feed demand in 2020 is expected to be down 2.3%, while cattle feed production is expected to decrease 4.1%.
Overall industrial compound feed production is expected to decrease in 2020 by 3% to 6%.