BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – The drought observed in 2018 in Europe impacted on the overall feed supply for 2018-19, according to the 2018-19 EU feed protein balance sheet, published by the European Commission.

The level of E.U. self-sufficiency and total feed supply decreased compared to the previous years. The self-sufficiency dropped from 80% to 77%, with a lower availability of roughage partly replaced by higher maize imports.

Source: European Commission

Due to a reduced size of cattle and pig herd, the total feed supply was down by 4% to 83 million tonnes.

According to the European Commission, roughage, such as grass and silage maize, remains the main source of feed protein, representing 42% of the E.U. total feed use. As oilseed meals and crops, their share increased by 1% each and reached 26% and 23%, respectively.

Source: European Commission

While the E.U. is fully self-sufficient in roughage, the E.U. produces only 26% of oilseed meals, mainly soy and rapeseed meals, consumed by the E.U. livestock sector.

The European Commission noted lower feed demand led to the consumption of all feed protein sources to drop in absolute figures.

“Within the category of ‘crops,’ we can observe a shift toward more imported maize and within the category ‘oilseeds’ a small shift towards more soybean meals, at the expense of rapeseed and sunflower meals,” the European Commission said.