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EU compound feed production falls 1% in 2019

FEFAC releases 2019 compound feed production estimates, cites return to normal weather market pattern for cattle feed.

The European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) announced Dec. 9 that the industrial compound feed production for farmed animals in the European Union-28 for 2019 was estimated at 161.7 million metric tons, i.e., -0.9% lower than in 2018 (Table), according to data provided by FEFAC members.

Industrial compound feed production for farmed animals in the EU.jpg

Regarding cattle feed, the poor stocks of forages resulting from the 2018 drought and heat waves induced a significant increase in the compound feed demand for cattle on the first quarter 2019, FEFAC said. For the rest of the year, the back-to-normal weather conditions together with increasing restrictions on phosphorous emissions in certain countries resulted in an annual fall of the demand for cattle feed of 2.3% for 2019 compared to 2018, FEFAC reported, noting that the largest decreases were reported in Ireland (-15%) and the U.K. (-7%).

FEFAC said poultry feed production was estimated for 2019 to have increased by just 0.1%, well below the expected rise in poultry meat production, which was expected to reach +2.5% in 2019. This could be caused by sharp increase of poultry meat imports, especially from Brazil, was well as feed efficiency gains. EU poultry feed production remained the leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production, well ahead of pig feed, FEFAC said.

FEFAC noted that pig feed production was expected to decrease -0.9% in 2019. Despite growing export opportunities (e.g., the ongoing trade dispute between China and the U.S., prevalence of African swine fever [ASF] in many Asian countries), EU pork production increased only moderately, the group noted. The EU countries affected the most by ASF outbreaks on commercial farms recorded dramatic production decreases, reaching -15% in Romania and -9% in Bulgaria, FEFAC noted.

Outlook 2020

FEFAC said next year, the demand for poultry feed will be mostly conditioned by the extent to which Brazil will recover its leading position on the global poultry meat market after a meat fraud scandal two years ago and resuming exports to the EU, thus weighing on EU production. The demand for poultry feed is expected to vary between -0.5% and +1.5%.

The demand for pig feed is expected to remain stable in ASF-free countries, boosted by the increased market demand in third countries, FEFAC said. On the other hand, it is unlikely that countries with ASF cases recorded in domestic pig farms will manage to reverse the trend.

In addition, the pig sector is subject to strong pressure for reduction of its emissions in The Netherlands, which may result in a decapitalization of herds, FEFAC suggested. As a result, pig feed production is expected to remain stable in 2020 in the “best case” scenario. Of course, should ASF spread to leading pig producing countries (such as Spain, Germany, Denmark or The Netherlands), the outlook may be affected dramatically.

All in all, industrial compound feed production is likely to remain stable in 2020, with a +2% uncertainty margin due to the many unpredictable parameters at stake, FEFAC concluded.

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