Due to the spread of animal diseases, Covid-19, and the associated change in consumer demand for animal products, compound feed production in the EU will drop by 2,2% this year.
This is what the European Feed Manufacturers Federation FEFAC claims based on information from its members. Compound feed production is expected to amount to 161,4 million tonnes. There is a decrease in all animal categories.
Industrial compound feed production is likely to remain stable in 2020. Photo: Henk Riswick
Cattle feed production decreased
The production of compound feed for cattle decreased by 2,9%. It is the sector most affected by the Covid-19 measures, in particular the closure of the catering industry. With less demand for more expensive cuts of meat and dairy products, farmers reduced the use of compound feed to lower milk production and slow animal growth. This was partly offset by increased demand in Eastern Europe, where less feed was available from the country due to drought.
Decrease in pig feed production
Pig feed production will decrease by 1,1%. The spread of African swine fever led to a Chinese import ban on German pork. Spain can only partially fill this export gap to China due to limited production capacity. Pig farmers anticipate the reduced demand (and a greater supply on the European market) by producing less. As a result, there is also less demand for pig feed.
After years of growth, the production of poultry feed will decrease by 2,7% this year. The coronavirus also plays a role here. Poultry farmers reduced production because of the lockdown, which in turn led to less demand for feed. In the summer months there was some recovery, but a further decline is expected at the end of the year, especially in Romania, Ireland and Spain. The spread of bird flu in some countries will hold back recovery. The production of poultry feed may lose its position as the largest segment in European compound feed production, according to FEFAC. Pig feed production then takes over the first position for the first time in more than a decade.