BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — EU-27 compound feed production is estimated to decrease slightly in 2021 to 149.9 million tonnes, according to forecast data from the European Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC).

FEFAC estimates a decline of 0.16% compared to 2020 European Union feed output.

Facing challenges of reduced meat demand in key export markets, high costs for feed grains and the impact of African swine fever, pig feed production is estimated to decrease by 1.3%, FEFAC said.

“The countries most affected by the decline are Germany, Austria, Portugal, Finland and Hungary,” FEFAC said. “In addition, some Member States, (e.g. the Netherlands and Belgium), are depopulating their pig herds in order to lower agricultural environmental emissions.“

Despite the continuing spread of Avian influenza in several parts of Europe in 2021, poultry feed production is set to increase by 0.8%, FEFAC said. This is mainly due to the improved situation in the HORECA chain (Hotel/Restaurant/Catering) when businesses reopened when COVID-19 lockdown measures across Europe, especially in the summer tourist destinations such as Portugal and Spain but also in Hungary and Romania, it said.

FEFAC noted that with the United Kingdom leaving the EU in 2021, poultry feed production lost its position as the leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production to pig feed.

Cattle feed production is estimated to slightly increase by 0.1%, compared to the previous year, mainly due to a higher increase of production in Italy, Poland and Romania.

“The situation in other EU countries is rather stable or shows a minor decrease,” FEFAC said. “This is mainly due to higher forage production lowering demand for cattle feed.”

In general terms, demand for compound feed was lifted due to the continuing global grain market rally making industrial compound feed economically more attractive over home-grown feed cereals.

Due to supply chain difficulties and the high cost of procurement to source the “non-GM” protein sources, FEFAC said market partners are demanding more certified/verified responsibly produced protein sources (soy products).

FEFAC members expect a continuation of several key market drivers that could weigh in against demand for compound feed in 2022:

  • Reduced export opportunities for pig meat producers
  • Continuation of the global grain market rally (expected to continue until the end of MY 2021-22)
  • The continued spread of animal diseases (ASF & AI)
  • COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures
  • Environmental concerns (pressure on lowering GHG and other emissions)