Feed production stable despite problems

by Emily Wilson
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According to FEFAC, year end should show that overall, the anticipated significant drop in cattle feed production will have been largely offset by increased demand for pig and poultry feeds, resulting in comparable output to 2000.

Last year, compound feed production in the E.U. stood at 126.4 million tonnes, excluding milk replacers. This represents a slight increase on 1999 but disguises huge variation for individual countries.

For example in pig feed, the dominant sector, production shot up in Denmark by 8.6% and in Spain, the leading producer, by 7.4% to 8.2 million tonnes, giving it 20% of a total European production output of 43.4 million tonnes.

At the other end of the spectrum, U.K. pig feed production nose-dived from 2.5 million tonnes to 2.1 million tonnes, a drop of 14.3%. Poultry feed production appeared to remain stable at 37.3 million tonnes despite a severe drop in Italy of 11.5% as a result of the Avian influenza outbreak in the winter of 1999-2000.

The statistics, however, give a somewhat distorted picture since a 10% increase in German poultry feed production is entirely due to a correction in statistical analysis in that country. Surprisingly, cattle feed production remained stable at 34 million tonnes despite the huge impact of BSE. Ireland suffered the biggest loss in production, down by more than 10% to 1.9 million tonnes, while Danish production shot up by 12.4% to 1.5 million tonnes.