Ukraine slightly increases feed production

29-07-2020 | |
Photo: Scott Olson
Photo: Scott Olson

During the 2019/20 marketing year, Ukraine produced 6.2 million tonnes of feed, 2% up compared to the average level of the previous five seasons, local analytical agency APK-Inform estimated. The production performance in the industry has been steadily growing during the past couple of seasons after some decline in the past, according to the agency.

On the other hand, some reduction in agricultural animals’ population during the past few years and price fluctuations on the feedstuff market have become severe challenges for Ukraine feed companies, APK-Inform said.

For instance, in 2014, Ukraine produced 6.8 million tonnes of feed, another local consulting firm AR-Group estimated. At that time, the Interregional Union of Poultry and Feed Manufacturers of Ukraine forecasted that the production would grow by 40% to 11 million tonnes in the next few years. However, those forecasts were not destined to come true. The production went down to 6 million tonnes in 2018, the lowest level during the past decade, AR-Group said.

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More feed is real

Ukraine could have been producing way more feed if local agricultural companies changed their business attitude, Igor Petrashko, Ukraine Agricultural Ministry said on July 24. The country is exporting a lot of grain, which instead could be turned into the feed so that the country would ship products with higher added value, he explained.

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“We produce poultry, we produce eggs, to some extent we produce pork too, but we manufacture almost no beef and aquaculture products, where we could also use feed,” Petrashko said. “For this reason, we see livestock as one of the promising directions of growth [for the feed industry].”

Last year’s harvest in Ukraine hit a record 75.1 million tonnes of grain, up from 70 million tonnes in 2018. Ukraine could export a record 52 million to 55 million tonnes of grain this season, including 19 million to 20 million tonnes of wheat, the Agricultural Ministry estimated.

Warm, dry weather depresses grain production
The harvest forecast for Ukraine has also been somewhat tempered.

Nearly 62.5% of the overall feed production in Ukraine is poultry feed, 18.6% pig feed, and 9% cattle feed. During the past several years, the country has been ramping up poultry feed production thanks to the efforts of the country’s biggest agricultural holding MHP and UkrLandFarming. The pig population in the country has been heavily hit with the continuing African swine fever (ASF) epidemic, while the beef and milk industry suffers from low profitability and consequently, low investment attractiveness. For instance, UkrLandFarming was planning to boost feed production from 400,000 tonnes to 2 million tonnes. The company had to put the plans on halt following the Russian annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the armed conflict in eastern regions of Ukraine in 2014.

Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent