BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Compound feed production in the E.U.-28 in 2013 was estimated at 153.8 million tonnes, slightly less than in 2012, according to data provided by members of the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC).

While pig feed production dropped by 1.7%, cattle and poultry feed have seen their production grow respectively by 0.8% and 0.6%. As a consequence, poultry feed consolidated its position of leading segment of E.U. compound feed production slightly above pig feed.

The most important factors that have weighed on the E.U. feed demand in 2013 were the cool weather in spring, which impacted on availability of forages in a large number of countries and the still fragile economic situation of the pig sector, which, along with the implementation of the group-housing requirements for sows, affected the resilience of the pig production.

Among the largest producing countries, the U.K. and Poland performed rather well, with annual growth of 5% and 3%, respectively, while Germany and Italy remained stable and France, Spain and The Netherlands saw their production fall by 1%.

Germany strengthened its position as leading E.U. country in terms of total compound feed production before France and Spain shoulder to shoulder.

The new E.U. member state, Croatia, has seen its compound feed production fall by 7% from 635,000 to 590,000 tonnes compared to 2012.

FEFAC market experts foresee a stabilization in poultry feed production, a further reduction in pig feed production (-0.5%) and a more significant reduction in cattle feed demand due to better expected weather conditions for grasslands and forages production (-1%). Overall, this would lead to a 1% decrease in compound feed production in 2014 vs. 2013.