In 2017, 159.1 million tonnes of compound feed was produced in the European Union.
This is according to data provided by Fefac members. The total compound feed production in the EU-28 in 2017 is 1.5% higher compared to 2016. Cattle feed saw the highest growth rate (+3.6%), whereas poultry and pig feed recorded more moderate production increases (resp. +1.4 and +1.0%).
Photo: Bert Jansen
Positive outlook pig feed
On the pig feed side, the evolution year to year is positive again, after a slight set back in 2016. The still persistent effects of African Swine Fever in Eastern Europe weighed significantly on the development of pig meat production. The exception remains Poland, which, despite the permanent AFS threat, managed to increase its production by 7%.
Differences in cattle feed
The picture is extremely contrasted throughout Europe for cattle feed: Northern Europe countries have recorded growth of volumes between 4 and 12%, whereas Southern countries, in general, have seen their production stabilising, although Spain set another production record, and among Eastern countries, only Poland and Bulgaria have seen a significant increase of production (8% and more).
Poultry is leading segment
This year again, the Avian Influenza outbreak affected several poultry producing regions of Europe, in particular France and Hungary. However, this was largely offset by an increase in many other countries, leading to an overall increase of +1.4% in 2017 vs. 2016, thus confirming its position of leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production, well ahead of pig feed.
Poland speeds up feed production
For the 4th year in a row, Poland was one of the best performing countries in terms of growth, with annual growth of +7.5%, boosted by the demand for poultry feed which has turned Poland into the largest poultry producing country in the EU, but also a +8% increase in cattle feed. All large feed producing countries (above 10 million tons/year) have seen their production grow (between 0.4 and 3.5%), with the exception of France which is still struggling to recover from the AI outbreak. Germany remains the top leading producer country trailed close by Spain, thus widening the gap to France which remains in third position.
Outlook for 2018
Fefac market experts are relatively prudent concerning industrial compound feed production in 2018. The dairy sector still needs to recover from the severe milk price crisis and get rid of the vast stocks of skimmed milk powder, leading Fefac experts to anticipate a reduction of the demand for cattle feed between 0.5 and 1%. A number of factors will weigh in on the development of EU pig production. The effective development of pig meat production in the EU and the subsequent demand for pig feed depend to a certain extent on the global demand for pig meat, which is expected to stabilise. The development of national/local legislation on manure and phosphorous emissions can also have an impact. However, the main uncertainty remains in the possible expansion of the area affected by the African Swine Fever. A slight reduction of the production of pig feed by 0.5/1% is, therefore, possible. While poultry exports will continue to be affected by restrictions in third countries due to Avian Influenza, the persistent trend of increased consumption of poultry meat in the EU is expected to maintain the demand of poultry feed at the level of 2017, despite constrains due to a trend in certain Western countries to reduce stocks density in poultry holding triggered by animal welfare concerns. Overall, Fefac experts envisage a stabilisation or moderate reduction of compound feed production (0 to -0.5%).